INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS

INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS

TAIWAN OPENS BIDDING

TO EAST EUROPEANSTAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwan will allow five Eastern European countries to bid for procurement contracts worth between $3 billion and $4 billion a year, the Economic Ministry said Wednesday.

Vice Economic Minister Chiang Ping-kun told reporters Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Poland would be allowed to bid for contracts on aircraft, precision tools, computers, telecommunications equipment, anti- pollution devices, buses, power equipment and machinery.

INDEPENDENT UNIONS

VOTE TO UNITE IN USSR

MOSCOW - The first Soviet Congress of independent trade unions, in a challenge to the state labor movement, has voted to form a council to unite the country's unofficial worker groups, a spokesman said Wednesday.

"The aim is to unite all forces and to guarantee the rights of working people in this difficult economic situation," a spokesman said from Novokuznetsk, the Western Siberian city in which the congress was held.

The congress also passed a resolution to express support for the breakaway republic of Lithuania, which declared independence March 11, and agreed to form an organization to defend the rights of rural workers.

INDIAN LEADER WORRIED

ABOUT TRADE BARRIERS

NEW DELHI, India - Indian Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh, whose country faces U.S. trade sanctions for erecting barricades against foreign competition, said Wednesday the international trading system faces a risky future.

Opening the 23rd annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank, Mr. Singh said nations were resorting to bilateralism that threatens to weaken multilateral trading systems.

"The multilateral trading system is under severe pressure. There is also a dangerous resort to bilateralism," Mr. Singh said.