The Prime Minister has approved the Vietnam Rubber Group's business plan by 2015, which calls for an annual increase in turnover by 15 percent and pre-tax profits of 22 percent a year.

If the plan's expectations are met, the group would contribute an annual estimate of 3.5 trillion VND (168 million USD) to the State's budget.

With the plan, the group would spend 15 trillion VND (720 million USD) a year for its development and recruit 70,000-80,000 workers for its facilities in Vietnam and in other countries, increasing the total workforce to 200,000 by 2015.

The plan calls for expanding the total cultivation area to 500,000ha by developing 60,000ha of newly cultivated area in Vietnam and 60,000ha in other countries. The group also operates facilities in Laos and Cambodia .

The VRG has already set up programmes to increase the production capacity of its processing facilities in order to meet the increasing need from new cultivation areas. Expected total processed production by 2015 would reach 400,000 tonnes.

It has developed a strategy to create industries that use rubber materials, with targeted production of one million tyres and 15,000 tonnes of mattresses and other products each year.

The VRG is a partly State-run group that operates in various sectors, including rubber cultivation, raw rubber processing, rubber product manufacture, agriculture, mechanics and construction.

It has more than 25 facilities in Vietnam covering 263,627ha and other facilities covering a total of 70,608ha in Cambodia and Laos .

Vietnam is the fifth largest rubber producer in the world.-VNA