US embassy cable - 00HANOI864

AMBASSADOR'S VISIT TO NAM DINH: AGRICULTURAL PROVINCE MAKES TEXTILES, CRAFTS; NGO'S HELP MEET LOCAL NEEDS

Identifier: 00HANOI864
Wikileaks: View 00HANOI864 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Hanoi
Created: 2000-04-25 10:24:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREL EAID PGOV ECON EIND ETRD VM
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


2000HANOI00864 - UNCLASSIFIED
 
 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ9527

PAGE 01        HANOI  00864  01 OF 03  251113Z 
ACTION EAP-00   

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AGRE-00  AID-00   ACQ-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00  
      COME-00  CTME-00  DOEE-00  ITCE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    
      EB-00    EXME-00  E-00     FAAE-00  FBIE-00  UTED-00  VC-01    
      FRB-00   H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   ITC-01   L-00     AC-01    
      NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   
      ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  
      PMB-00   DSCC-00  DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /009W
                  ------------------4F8EC5  251114Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9650
INFO AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH 
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
SECDEF WASHDC
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//J5/FPA//
DIA WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HANOI 000864 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV, EB/TPP/ATT, DRL, INR 
STATE PASS USAID/ANE/SOULES, MCCLUSKEY 
PHNOM PENH FOR USAID/PEARSON 
NSC FOR RAVIC HUSO 
SECDEF FOR ISA/LSTERN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        HANOI  00864  01 OF 03  251113Z 
TAGS: PREL, EAID, PGOV, ECON, EIND, ETRD, VM 
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S VISIT TO NAM DINH: AGRICULTURAL PROVINCE MAKES TEXTILES, CRAFTS; NGO'S HELP MEET LOCAL NEEDS 
 
1. SUMMARY:  IN HIS FIRST WORKING VISIT TO NAM DINH 
PROVINCE, JUST SOUTHEAST OF HANOI, THE AMBASSADOR MET WITH 
PROVINCIAL OFFICIALS, TOURED A STATE-OWNED TEXTILE PLANT AND 
VISITED NGO PROJECTS, LOCAL SCHOOLS AND A HOSPITAL.  THOUGH 
THE PROVINCIAL LEADERSHIP IS OPEN AND ENGAGING, THE LARGELY 
AGRICULTURAL PROVINCE IS NOT MOVING ENERGETICALLY TO CREATE 
NEW ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES.  THE STATE-OWNED TEXTILE PLANT, 
WHICH EMPLOYS 7,700 PEOPLE, PRODUCED ONLY 30 NEW JOBS LAST 
YEAR.  INTERNATIONAL NGO'S OPERATING IN NAM DINH HELP FILL 
THE SOCIAL GAPS: THE ADVENTIST AID AGENCY ASSISTS BLIND 
CHILDREN TO INTEGRATE INTO THE COMMUNITY, WHILE SAVE THE 
CHILDREN/USA PROVIDES SUPPLEMENTARY NUTRITION TO 
MALNOURISHED INFANTS AND TODDLERS.  END SUMMARY. 
 
PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE LEADERSHIP PITCHES LOCAL INDUSTRIES 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
2. IN AN APRIL 24 VISIT TO NAM DINH PROVINCE, WHOSE 
PROVINCIAL CAPITAL IS ABOUT 75 KM SOUTHEAST OF HANOI, THE 
AMBASSADOR MET WITH PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN TRAN TRUNG 
AM, WHO BRIEFED HIM ON LOCAL CONDITIONS.  (AMBASSADOR WAS 
ACCOMPANIED BY POLOFF AND INTERPRETER.  AM WAS JOINED BY 
OFFICIALS FROM THE PROVINCIAL EXTERNAL RELATIONS AND HEALTH 
DEPARTMENTS.)  AMBASSADOR NOTED THIS WAS HIS FIRST WORKING 
VISIT TO THE PROVINCE; HE POINTED OUT THERE ARE ONLY TEN 
PROVINCES HE HAS NOT YET VISITED.  AM SAID NAM DINH IS THE 
MOST POPULOUS PROVINCE OF THE RED RIVER DELTA, WITH 2 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HANOI  00864  01 OF 03  251113Z 
MILLION PEOPLE, LARGELY INVOLVED IN AGRICULTURE.   AM SAID 
RICE IS THE LARGEST EXPORT; PIGS AND VEGETABLES ARE ALSO 
LEADING COMMODITIES.  THERE IS AN IMPORTANT TEXTILE 
INDUSTRY, ORIGINALLY ESTABLISHED BY THE FRENCH; WHILE IT HAS 
DECLINED SOMEWHAT IN RECENT YEARS, ITS MANAGERS HAVE BEEN 
WORKING RECENTLY TO INCREASE PRODUCTION.  THE PROVINCE'S 
STATE-OWNED TEXTILE ENTERPRISES EXPORT ABOUT USD 40 MILLION 
IN GOODS, INCLUDING PREPARED CLOTHING, EACH YEAR.  AM SAID 
HE HOPED THE U.S. WOULD EXPAND ITS INVESTMENT IN THE 
PROVINCE, INCLUDING IN OIL EXPLORATION, WHICH WAS PREVIOUSLY 
ATTEMPTED BY THE SOVIETS. 
 
3. THE AMBASSADOR RESPONDED THAT VIETNAM IS BLESSED WITH 
MANY RESOURCES AND HAS GREAT ECONOMIC POTENTIAL.  THE 
COUNTRY'S GREATEST ASSET IS ITS PEOPLE, WHO ARE CREATIVE AND 
HARD WORKING.  BUT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE OPPORTUNITIES, 
VIETNAM NEEDS CREATIVE LEADERSHIP.  THE AMBASSADOR SAID AM, 
AS CHAIR OF NAM DINH, HAS TO LEAD HIS PROVINCE TO COMPETE 
WITH OTHER COUNTRIES IN THE REGION IN ORDER TO GAIN 
INVESTMENT.  HE SAID THERE ARE MANY AMERICANS WHO EXPLORED 
INVESTING IN VIETNAM, ESPECIALLY DURING THE YEARS 1994-96, 
BUT HAVE GONE ELSEWHERE BECAUSE THERE ARE BETTER 
OPPORTUNITIES IN OTHER COUNTRIES.  THE AMBASSADOR SAID THE 
U.S. WANTS VIETNAM TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND WANTS TO WORK WITH 
VIETNAM TO ADDRESS CHALLENGES CONFRONTING THE COUNTRY.  WITH 
PROPER LEADERSHIP, NAM DINH PROVINCE COULD BE VERY 
SUCCESSFUL IN THE YEARS AHEAD.  HE NOTED A KEY OBSTACLE NOW 
IS THE SRV'S INABILITY TO MOVE FORWARD TO SIGN THE BILATERAL 
TRADE AGREEMENT (BTA) NEGOTIATED BETWEEN OUR COUNTRIES.  HE 
NOTED A BTA IS KEY TO INCREASING U.S. INVESTORS' CONFIDENCE; 
A BTA WOULD OPEN UP MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF NEW INVESTMENT. 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        HANOI  00864  01 OF 03  251113Z 
 
4. IN RESPONSE TO THE AMBASSADOR'S QUESTION, AM NOTED THE 
PROVINCE IS LOOKING TO EXPAND ITS SEAFOOD EXPORTS; THESE 
PRODUCTS ARE SHIPPED OUT OF HAIPHONG HARBOR.  AM SAID THE 
JAPANESE GOVERNMENT IS ASSISTING THE PROVINCE TO IMPROVE 
TRANSPORTATION LINKS AMONG NAM DINH, NINH BINH AND THAI BINH 
PROVINCES TO ENCOURAGE TRADE WITH THAILAND.  AM NOTED BOTH 
RAIL LINKS AND WATERWAYS WOULD BE IMPROVED TO FACILITATE 
THIS TRADE. 
 
STATE-OWNED TEXTILE FACTORY CREATING FEW NEW JOBS 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
5. THE AMBASSADOR VISITED THE PROVINCE'S HUGE STATE-OWNED 
TEXTILE FACTORY, WHICH EMPLOYS 7,700 PERSONS IN ALL ASPECTS 
OF PRODUCTION.  THE FACTORY PRODUCES FINISHED CLOTHING 
ITEMS, INCLUDING 100 PERCENT COTTON, 100 PERCENT POLYESTER, 
AND BLENDED FABRICS.  RAW COTTON IS IMPORTED FROM 
KAZAKHSTAN; POLYESTER IS IMPORTED FROM TAIWAN AND SOUTH 
KOREA.  THE EQUIPMENT IN THE PLANT COMES FROM GERMANY, 
BELGIUM, FRANCE, JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA.  FACTORY FLOOR 
OPERATORS SAID CLOTHES ARE EXPORTED TO JAPAN, GERMANY, THE 
CZECH REPUBLIC AND NUMEROUS OTHER MARKETS.  THEY CLAIMED 36 
PERCENT OF OUTPUT IS FOR EXPORT. 
 
 
6. DURING HIS VISIT, THE AMBASSADOR WAS SHOWN AROUND THE 
FACTORY BY THREE PRODUCTION SECTION HEADS, TWO OF WHOM WERE 
WOMEN.  THE FACILITIES WERE CLEAN, AND A CURSORY LOOK AT THE 
FACILITIES SUGGESTED WORKING CONDITIONS WERE GENERALLY 
ADEQUATE.  HOWEVER, THE AIR IN THE AREA WHERE COTTON AND 
POLYESTER ARE SPUN INTO THREAD WAS THICK WITH DUST AND 
FIBERS, AND NOT PARTICULARLY WELL VENTILATED.  SOME, BUT NOT 
ALL, WORKERS WORE MASKS.  FACTORY REPRESENTATIVES SAID THE 
EMPLOYEES WERE TRAINED AT THE LOCAL PROVINCIAL SCHOOL. 
ACCORDING TO THE PLANT MANAGER, 30 NEW EMPLOYEES WERE HIRED 
LAST YEAR.  (COMMENT: THAT ONLY 30 NEW JOBS WERE CREATED AT 
THIS HUGE FACTORY AT A TIME WHEN VIETNAM IS SEEKING TO 
EXPAND ITS EXPORTS SUGGESTS THIS IS ANOTHER OF THE LARGE 
STATE-OWNED DINOSAURS THAT IS WEIGHING DOWN VIETNAM'S 
ECONOMIC POTENTIAL.  END COMMENT.) 
 
NGO'S WORKING TO FILL UNMET LOCAL NEEDS 
--------------------------------------- 
 
7. ACCOMPANIED BY PROVINCIAL OFFICIALS, AMBASSADOR VISITED 
SEPARATE HUMANITARIAN PROJECTS OPERATED BY THE ADVENTIST 
DEVELOPMENT AND RELIEF AGENCY (ADRA) AND SAVE THE 
CHILDRE/USA.  THE ADRA PROJECT HAS WORKED WITH THE NAM DINH 
PROVINCIAL BLIND ASSOCIATION SINCE MAY 1999 TO TEACH BLIND 
CHILDREN SKILLS TO HELP THEM INTEGRATE INTO SOCIETY.  THE 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HANOI  00864  02 OF 03  251113Z 
FIRST PROJECT TAUGHT 13 CHILDREN FROM 10-15 YEARS OLD FOR 
THREE MONTHS, AND THE SECOND CLASS, WHICH JUST BEGAN, 
TEACHES AN ADDITIONAL 13 CHILDREN.  THE AMBASSADOR MET WITH 
STUDENTS WHO ARE LEARNING TO READ AND WRITE BRAILLE, IN 
ORDER TO TAKE DICTATION AND LEARN MATH.  THEY ALSO RECEIVE 
TRAINING IN HOW TO OPERATE MORE INDEPENDENTLY IN THEIR 
COMMUNITIES.  THE GOAL IS FOR THE STUDENTS TO JOIN REGULAR 
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS AFTER COMPLETING THE ADRA 
COURSES.  FROM THE FIRST SCHOOL, TWO OF THE 13 STUDENTS ARE 
TRAINING TO BECOME TEACHERS OF BRAILLE AND ONE IS BEING 
TRAINED FOR PHYSICAL THERAPY MASSAGE.  THE AMBASSADOR 
APPLAUDED THE WORK OF THE ASSOCIATION AND ADRA IN HELPING 
THE STUDENTS INTEGRATE INTO SOCIETY, AND ENCOURAGED THE 
STUDENTS TO CONTINUE THEIR HARD WORK AND COMMITMENT TO 
LEARNING. 
 
8. THE AMBASSADOR ALSO VISITED A CHILD NUTRITION PROJECT 
WHICH HAS BEEN OPERATED BY SAVE THE CHILDREN/USA AT SIX 
SITES FOR THE PAST 11 MONTHS.  THE PROJECT PROVIDES 
SUPPLEMENTAL FOOD TO MALNOURISHED CHILDREN UNDER 3 YEARS OLD 
IN PARTICULARLY ISOLATED VILLAGES WHERE AT LEAST 16 PERCENT 
OF THE POPULATION IS UNDERNOURISHED.  THE PROJECT HAS 
TARGETTED MORE THAN 400 FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN, HAVING 
THE MOTHERS BRING THE KIDS INTO LOCAL VILLAGE CLINICS TO 
RECEIVE THE DAILY PORTIONS OF RICE, GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES 
AND BANANAS.  SOME OF THE GOALS ARE TO TEACH THE PARENTS 
ABOUT GOOD, COST-EFFICIENT EATING HABITS AND TO HELP AT-RISK 
CHILDREN SO THEY DO NOT SUFFER LONG-TERM HARM TO THEIR 
DEVELOPMENT.  VISITING THE FEEDING CENTER IN VINH HAO TOWN 
IN VU BAN DISTRICT, THE AMBASSADOR TOLD THE PROJECT 
OPERATORS HE WAS VERY IMPRESSED WITH THE PROGRAM AND ITS 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        HANOI  00864  02 OF 03  251113Z 
EFFORTS TO REACH AT-RISK KIDS.   HE HOPED THAT SUCH PROJECTS 
COULD BE EXPANDED TO HELP MALNOURISHED CHILDREN. 
 
TOURS OF PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL AND SCHOOLS 
---------------------------------------- 
 
9. IN A VISIT TO THE NAM DINH GENERAL HOSPITAL, THE 
AMBASSADOR MET WITH THE TWO VICE DIRECTORS AND TOOK A TOUR 
OF THE FACILITIES.  THE HOSPITAL, WHICH IS THE LARGEST IN 
THE REGION, HAS 400 BEDS AND 83 DOCTORS AND ABOUT 200 NURSES 
ON STAFF.  RESPONDING TO THE AMBASSADOR'S QUESTION, HOSPITAL 
OFFICIALS SAID ABOUT 6 PERCENT OF PATIENTS ARE FOR SERIOUS 
TRAUMA CASES, THOUGH MANY MORE TRAUMA PATIENTS GO TO THE 
OTHER SMALLER CLINICS IN THE PROVINCE.  THERE ARE MANY TYPES 
OF TRAUMA VICTIMS, FROM AUTO, FARM AND OTHER ACCIDENTS. 
HOSPITAL OFFICIALS SAID, THOUGH THEIR DIAGNOSTIC EQUIPMENT 
IS LIMITED, THEY MAKE DO WITH WHAT THEY HAVE, THOUGH THEY 
MADE A PITCH FOR SPECIALIZED EQUIPMENT FROM THE U.S. 
 
10. THE AMBASSADOR ALSO VISITED A TRAINING SCHOOL FOR BOYS 
AND GIRLS TO HELP THEM LEARN THE WOODWORKING AND 
CRAFTSMAKING SKILLS OF THE PROVINCE, AS WELL AS AN 18-ROOM 
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL THAT HAS 650 STUDENTS.  AT THE ELEMENTARY 
SCHOOL, THE AMBASSADOR MET WITH THE DEPUTY RECTOR, WHO 
DESCRIBED THE CHALLENGES FACING HER SCHOOL BECAUSE OF 
RESOURCE CONSTRAINTS.  SHE STRESSED THE STRONG COMMITMENT OF 
LOCAL FAMILIES TO EDUCATION.  SHE ASKED WHETHER THE 
AMBASSADOR COULD ASSIST VIETNAM IN CONSTRUCTING AN 
ADDITIONAL CLASSROOM TO BE USED FOR A SCHOOL LAB, WHICH 
REPORTEDLY WOULD COST $3,000.  WHEN THE AMBASSADOR VISITED 
FIRST- AND FIFTH-GRADE CLASSROOMS, HE SAW BETWEEN 34 AND 36 
STUDENTS STUDYING AT NARROW WOODEN TABLES.  THEY HAD SMALL 
PAPERBACK BOOKLETS FOR MATH AND READING, AS WELL AS SMALL 
TABLETS AND PENCILS. 
 
11. COMMENT:  THE LEADERSHIP OF THE NAM DINH PROVINCE 
PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE IS MORE OPEN AND ENGAGING IN DIALOGUE 
THAN MANY OF VIETNAM'S PROVINCES.  AM, THE PEOPLE'S 
COMMITTEE CHAIR, SEEMED TO BE ON TOP OF HIS BRIEF AND AWARE 
OF THE CHALLENGES FACING HIS PROVINCE.  AS ARTICULATED BY 
THE AMBASSADOR, THE TRUE CHALLENGE IS EXERCISING LEADERSHIP 
TO ESTABLISH FAVORABLE CONDITIONS TO ATTRACT INVESTMENT AND 
LEAD TO BROADER PROSPERITY IN THE PROVINCE.  THUS FAR, THE 
PALTRY NUMBER OF LOCAL JOBS CREATED AT THE PROVINCE'S HUGE 
TEXTILE FACTORY DOES NOT BODE WELL FOR SPURRING ECONOMIC 
GROWTH IN THE PROVINCE.  VARIOUS NGO'S, SUCH AS SAVE THE 
CHILDREN AND ADRA, PERFORM VALUABLE SERVICE IN HELPING MEET 
IMPORTANT HUMAN DEVELOPMENT NEEDS LEFT UNMET BY LOCAL 
GOVERNMENT.  END COMMENT. 
PETERSON 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HANOI  00864  03 OF 03  251113Z 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
 


Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04