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Boeing Funds $1Mln for School Construction in Vietnam

 US Boeing Aviation has donated $1 million to Ho Chi Minh City to build a primary school in the outlying district of Cu Chi.

 The funding came after a consensus reached on January 28 between Paul Walters, the regional vice president of Boeing in the Southeast Asia, and the vice-chairman of Cu Chi people's committee Cao Thi Gai.

 The school has a total area of 10,000 sq. m, including 5,000 sq.m of construction area.

 In early November 2004, Boeing also funded $50,000 for the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation (VVAF) to help carry out a project on rehabilitating Vietnamese disabled people.

 The money will be used to purchase equipment for the disabled and assist their rehabilitation in localities across the country. (People's Army Jan 31 p8, Vietnam Economic Times Jan 31 p4, The People Nov 9 p8, 2004)

IMF Appreciates Vietnam's High Economic Growth

Vietnam has recorded high economic growth rates over the past years thanks to its prudent economic management and intensified integration into the global economy, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its review of the world's economy last year.

The IMF said that Vietnam is in a favourable position to continue its structural reform in the banking and public corporate sectors, improve the investment climate, strengthen State management, and enhance transparency in policy making.

The report stated that the IMF leadership highly valued the Vietnamese Government's efforts to control price and salary pressures. Vietnam's balance of payments is still strong; exports are rising fast; and investment is flowing in steadily.

The IMF urged Vietnam to continue exercising prudence in financial management and flexibility in foreign exchange while developing financial markets and the private sector.

Vietnam's small and medium sized businesses to double every year

How to speed up the drafting of the 2006-10 plan for small and medium sized businesses in order to submit it to the Government in 2006 for approval was the subject of a workshop in Hanoi on January 28.

Vietnam expects to finalize its 2006-10 plan for small and medium sized business development this year. The plan calls for a two-fold increase in the number of these businesses in each of the next five years so as to bring the total to 500,000 by the end of the decade.

The workshop, held by the Ministry of Planning and Investment with assistance from the Governments of Finland and Italy, and the United Nations' Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), brought together the experiences of international experts on the plan.

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are considered an important part of the national socio-economic development masterplan for the next five years, said Deputy Ministry of Planning and Investment Truong Van Doan. He also reaffirmed the Government's policy to support those businesses by increasing their competitiveness.

SMEs are leading the nation in the term of growth and have played an important role in mobilizing investment, generating jobs for all walks of life, reducing poverty and narrowing the development gap among different regions across the country, Doan said. (Young People Jan 31 p2, VNA Jan 31)

US Global Aids Coordinator to Visit Vietnam

 A US senior official will arrive in Vietnam this week to talk about the US Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief with Vietnamese relevant ministries, agencies and NGOs, according to a press release issued by the US embassy in Hanoi on January 28.

 Dr. Joseph O'Neill, Deputy Coordinator and Chief Medical Officer to the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, US Department of State, will visit US-funded programs and programs established and managed by other organizations assisting Vietnamese HIV/AIDS carriers.

 His working visit is part of US President George Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which in June 2004 named Vietnam the 15th participant country and the only one in Asia.

 Under the Emergency Plan, United States agencies have been collaborating with more than 20 partner organizations in Vietnam to set up Anti-Retroviral (ARV) treatment programs and to establish patient management systems to monitor the status of people on ARV in four to six of the most heavily affected provinces.

 The Vietnam program expects to treat approximately 1,500 people on ARVs in the coming year and 22,000 others by the end of 2007.

 In addition to providing treatment to HIV/AIDS infected adults and children, an Emergency Plan pilot project is providing treatment to HIV/AIDS-infected mothers with the hope of preventing the transmission of the virus to their newborns.

 To date, Vietnam has found 90,600 people infected with HIV/AIDS, according to the government's statistics in January. Of those, 14,500 have developed AIDS and 8,400 have died of HIVS. (Young People Online Jan 31)

US Assists $4Mln to Vietnamese Farmers

 The US Agriculture Department has decided to fund $4 million worth of food for Vietnam to help poor farmers in central and central highlands provinces.

A ship carrying the food including 12,500 tons of soybean oil and 7,600 tons of wheat is expected to dock at Ho Chi Minh City port on January 29.

The funding is part of the US-funded food assistance program, which will be carried out within three years by the NGO Counterpart International (CPI) with the aim of diversifying crops, distributing seed varieties and providing soft loans for poor farmers.

Around 3,000 local families will benefit from the program. (Vietnam Agriculture Jan 31 p2, Youth Jan 29 p16, Young People Jan 29 p2)