The Swiss non-governmental organisation Helvetas will help the southern province of Tien Giang to carry out a four-year project to develop organic and fair trade cocoa (Eco-Cocoa project).
Helvetas supports Eco-Cocoa project in Tien Giang
The project, which will run from January 2010 to the end of December 2013, has a total investment of 498,100 USD, to which Helvetas will contribute 440,100 USD and the province will provide the remaining capital.
The project will apply an advanced quality management system, which will help farmers to produce a high value organic cocoa during the growing, processing and selling of the product.
The project will be carried out in Cho Gao, Go Cong Tay and Tan Phu Dong districts and involves roughly 1,000 farming households who will each plant 2,000 m2 of cocoa plants.
Ten demonstration areas were developed in 2009 on a trial basis in Vinh Huu commune, Go Cong Tay district, with support from the national agro-fisheries promotion centre and Helvetas. The farmers working the pilot areas were also provided with training on the necessary farming technologies.
Tien Giang province now has more than 1,400 hectares under cocoa plants.
Hanoi Trade Centre opens in Ekateringbur
A trade centre named after Vietnam’s capital was inaugurated in Ekaterinburg city, Russia, on Nov. 30 by Vietnam’s Pacific company in collaboration with the Taganski Riat Joint Stock Company.
The opening of the Hanoi Trade Centre at Ural region’s busiest business hub is good news for the Vietnamese community, strengthening their confidence in a stable future for their life and business in Ekaterinburg, Pacific Director Le Thanh Do said at the opening ceremony.
Ekaterinburg Mayor Arkadyi Chernestky stressed that the centre would contribute to promoting traditional friendship, economic-trade cooperation for mutual benefits and partnership between Russia and Vietnam.
The Party and State of Vietnam advocates the enhancement of the country’s comprehensive partnership with Russia, Vietnamese acting Consulate General Pham Van Thao said, adding that the establishment of the Hanoi Trade Centre in Ekaterinburg is a practical move in implementing the policy.
WTO head applauds Vietnam’s integration
The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Pascal Lamy described Vietnam as a model of successful reform and integration when receiving Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang in Geneva on November 30.
He said the WTO is pleased to work with the country and pledged that the WTO will continue to provide Vietnam with necessary assistance in the future.
Minister Hoang, who led the Vietnamese delegation to the WTO Ministerial Meeting from Nov.30-Dec.2, affirmed the country’s determination to implement commitments with WTO and create a stable economic and trade environment to attract foreign investors.
He also expressed his supports for the ending of the Doha round scheduled 2010 with balanced results that fully represent the interests of developing countries.
Vietnam, EU boost tourism cooperation
The National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has held a working session with EU experts recently to coordinate work on the second phase of the tourism human resource development project in Vietnam.
At the meeting, the VNAT asked the EU to give advice to Vietnam in working out tourism development strategies, including the planning for key tourism sites.
It also suggested the second phase focus on brand building, promotional campaigns and human resource training for the tourism sector.
GMS countries look to further cooperation to overcome crisis
A Vietnamese government official said on Nov 30 that Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries should strengthen their cooperation to overcome the consequences of the financial crisis and climate change and to boost sub-regional economic development.
Addressing a conference titled “Overcoming Crisis-Moving towards a more dynamic GMS”, Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc said the sub-region’s economy has seen positive signs, however, unsustainable. That’s why GMS countries have to be cautious.
To increase understanding and introduce cooperation between GMS countries, participants at the conference discussed measures to boost cooperation for development in the region.
According to delegates, the GMS has made achievements in regional cooperation. In addition, support to GMS projects from regional and international donors helped create an investment cooperation prospect in the sub-region.
The GMS also discussed receiving more assistance from international donors to remove the obstacles caused by the economic crisis.
Ayumi Konishi, Country Director of the Asian Development Bank in Vietnam said the bank has financed 41 projects worth 11 billion USD and 179 technical assistance projects at a cost of 208 million USD for the sub-region.
Meanwhile, Japan will provide 5.5 billion USD in official development assistance (ODA) to GMS in the next three years, according to Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Sakaba Mitsuo.
In the future, the sub-region will focus on improving living conditions of people in the area, especially the poor by increasing the effectiveness of land and water resource use and developing hydroelectric power.
The sub-region will also improve fishing, raise the effectiveness of waterways, limit the adverse impacts of flood and draught’s consequences to people’s lives and strengthen environmental protection.
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