VIETNAM: Japan to help boost Vietnam's natural rubber production

Japan's International Co-operation Agency (JICA) will help Viet Nam to improve the country's rubber industry, which will help reduce the nation's greenhouse emissions.

The US$3.9 million project was signed on 18 Feb. 2011 by representatives from the Vietnamese Government and JICA.

The five-year project aims to help Viet Nam create a plan to replace synthetic rubber, which is made from fossil fuels, with natural rubber.

"Under this project, we (the Vietnamese and Japanese experts) will work together to develop methods to create natural rubber as well as methods to purify the material and develop highly functional polymers," said President of Ha Noi University of Science and Technology Nguyen Trong Giang.

"Moreover, we also plan to develop advanced technology that will treat wastewater created during the production of the commodity," said Giang.

The project will be managed by five research groups, who work at Nagaoka University of Technology of Japan, Ha Noi University of Science and Technology and Rubber Research Institute of Viet Nam.

"Rubber and the use of rubber products are popular in Viet Nam, where rubber production has been exponentially growing in recent years," said JICA Chief Representative in Viet Nam Tsuno Motonori.

"Products that are made from natural rubber are known as ‘green material', which is environmentally friendly," said Motonori.(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)