Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat and Norwegian Minister of Agriculture and Food Lars Peder Brekk signed an agreement for the third phase of a project to improve aquacultural capacity in Vietnam, in Hanoi on Nov. 24.

The document was signed during the Norwegian minister’s visit to Vietnam on the occasion of the two countries’ 40 th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

Under the agreement, the Norwegian government will provide 2 million USD aid to the Research Institute for Aquaculture No. 1 to implement the third phase of the project, lasting from 2011-2015.

Earlier, the Norwegian government granted 3.7 million USD for the institute to implement the first and second phases of the project from 1999 to 2008.

Head of the institute Le Thanh Luu said training courses were conducted in the first and second phases to improve the capacity of Vietnamese staff in the agricultural sector, especially in aquaculture.

In talks held earlier with Minister Lars Peder Brekk, Minister Cao Duc Phat acknowledged the remarkable support of the Norwegian government through ODA projects and bilateral and multilateral cooperation programmes.

He also asked Norway to consider funding more projects in Vietnam and expects the Norwegian government will continue to support ODA projects on technical cooperation and training for managers and researchers in Vietnamese agriculture.

On the occasion, Minister Phat invited the Norwegian side to attend the second global conference on agriculture, food security and climate change, to be held in Vietnam next March./.