BRIEFS

BRIEFS

AGENCY: CHINA FLUNKS

US CROP GRADING SYSTEMBEIJING - China needs to have a better understanding of the grading system employed by the U.S. Agricultural Marketing Service for cotton and other types of agricultural commodities, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Michael Dunn said.

Mr. Dunn, in Beijing to discuss agricultural issues with Chinese officials, said when he returns to Washington he will propose a mission to China to provide local buyers education on the U.S. system.

''This effort will ensure that the buyers know what to expect when their purchase arrives,'' Mr. Dunn said.

There are 30 different U.S. classifications that might not be well understood in China, he said.

INTEL DISCUSSING PLANT

WITH CZECH LEADER

PRAGUE - Representatives of the U.S. computer company Intel will visit the Czech Republic April 30 to meet with Prime Minister Josef Tosovsky and discuss possibly setting up a $500 million plant to manufacture computer chips, the CTK news agency reported.

The Intel representatives will visit Prague to discuss the terms of the investment proposed by the Czech government, the report said. The Cabinet is expected to give final approval to those terms today. The Czech Republic is vying with Portugal for the plant.

TAIWAN'S INDICATORS SHOW

HEALTHY MARCH GROWTH

TAIPEI - Taiwan's economy showed healthy growth in March, as the government's colored-signal system flashed green, according to data released today by the country's top economic planning agency.

Under the Council for Economic Planning and Development's colored signal system, green signifies healthy growth. March's green light was the 17th consecutive such signal, indicating the economy remains in a pattern of stable growth.

The leading index, which predicts economic conditions for the next three months, fell 0.6 percent in March from February to 103.5, the CEPD said.

ROMANIA PRIME MINISTER

VOWS IMF REFORMS

BUCHAREST, Romania - Romanian Prime Minister Radu Vasile promised to the International Monetary Fund that the country will carry out the economic program recommended by the IMF, and reach 1998 targets as a basis for a new financial arrangement.

Mr. Vasile, who met the IMF's representative Poul Thomsen in Bucharest, told reporters Romania had no more time to waste in applying the reforms with precise deadlines in 1998.

Mr. Thomsen offered a ''more flexible IMF approach to Romania,'' but warned the Romanian government should first reach the targets it had already set.

TANZANIA'S MKAPA URGES

INCREASED REGIONAL TRADE

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa called for increased trade among southern African countries to promote regional economic growth and free the region from dependence upon the Western world.

''In this new economic liberation war our weapons are maximum collective self-reliance and regional economic integration,'' Mr. mkapa said in a speech to officially open the annual Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in the southern city of Bulawayo.