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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 20/12   2008-12-20 - VNA

Vietnam to become Spain’s priority ODA recipient

The Spanish government plans to add Vietnam to a list of 23 countries that are prioritised for official development aid (ODA) over the next four years.

Under the draft programme for cooperation and development in the 2009-2012 period, submitted to Spanish parliament’s committee for international development cooperation on December 18, the number of countries receiving ODA from Spain will be reduced to 50 as compared to 56 in the previous plan.

It is expected that two-thirds of the Spanish ODA during this period will be provided to 23 priority countries.

According to the Spanish government’s target, the country’s global ODA will account for 0.7 percent of its GDP by 2012.

HCM City: FDI invested in education exceeds 3.5 billion USD

HCM City has to date attracted 61 foreign-invested education and training projects worth a total of 3.58 billion USD.

Ho Chi Minh City has to date attracted 61 foreign-invested education and training projects worth a total of 3.58 billion USD.

Of these projects, 49 were wholly-foreign invested, with a total value of 3.56 billion USD.

The Berjaya international university township project was the largest of these, with investment capital of 3.5 billion USD.

This was followed by a project to construct RMIT Vietnam University, at a cost of 44.1 million USD.

The municipal People’s Committee has proposed that the Education and Training Ministry reconsider regulations governing investment in education to minimise complicated administrative procedures for investors in the field.

Mekong delta province wins European rice contract

The Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu has signed a contract worth 375 billion VND (22 million USD) to sell 25,000 tonnes of Mot bui do Hong Dan-branded rice to Europe .

According to the director of the provincial Agriculture and Rural Development Department, this marks the first time that Bac Lieu has signed an agreement to export rice to Europe, a market with a high demand for the staple.

Bac Lieu cultivates more than 20,000ha of Mot bui do Hong Dan rice, with an average yield of 6 tonnes per ha. There are no fertilizers or insecticides used in the growing process.

This particular strain of rice was officially register by the National Office of Intellectual Property in June 2008.

Vietnam urged to use FDI more effectively

Vietnam needs to shift its focus from attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI) to using this source of capital effectively in order to improve the country’s economic situation, said a Vietnamese economist.

Speaking at a seminar entitled “FDI: Reason or Result of Development” held in Hanoi on December 19, Nguyen Ngoc Anh from the Development and Policies Research Centre also emphasised the role of policies on science and technology and auxiliary industries in making the best use of FDI capital.

According to Rodney Schmidt from Canada ’s North-South Institute, FDI plays an important role in transferring knowledge and technology, generating jobs and increasing competitiveness.

FDI helps to accelerate economic growth for all economies at every level of development, he said.

To use FDI effectively, it is necessary to narrow salary gaps and invest in improving the quality of the workforce, said Hoang Thanh Huong from the National University of Economics.

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