(AGI) Hanoi, June 10 - Italian ambassador Cecilia Piccioni andVietnamese Deputy Minister of Finance Truong Chi Trung signedon Wednesday a technical agreement to regulate the use of a 7.7million-euro fund for development projects. The fund will beused to finance a number of projects in priority sectors aimedat social and economic development plus environmentalprotection in the poor areas of Vietnam's central provinces.The agreement was signed in the context of developmentcooperation between the two countries. During the ceremony,both Piccioni and Truong expressed satisfaction with theefforts made by both parties leading to a mutual agreement. The Italian ambassador stressed that "the development ofcooperation activities is not only a longstanding 'brand', butis also significant in bilateral relations between Italy andVietnam." One of the new initiatives to be carried out throughthe fund is the Italian funding of a 3 million-euro soft loanaimed at supporting the integrated management of a major riverbasin in Central Vietnam. This project fits with Italy'straditional commitment to water management and combatingclimate change. Both parties also expressed confidence in thesuccessful and rapid implementation of the debt-for-developmentswap programme. (AGI) . .