Vietnamese expatriates gathered at separate events in France and Belgium to celebrate the Lunar New Year on February 28, the tenth day of the first lunar month.

The event in Nogent-sur-Marne, a commune in the eastern suburbs of Paris, attracted more than 1,000 overseas Vietnamese from across France. It became lively with unicorn dancing, “xam” singing, and piano performances along with folk games.

Dang Ngoc Chan, a member of the standing board of the Vietnamese People’s Association in France, recalled outstanding achievements of the Vietnam Year in France 2014 which were partly contributed by expatriates, helping strengthen bilateral friendship and cooperation.

He said he believes the two countries’ relations will be further enhanced through the Vietnam visit by French President Francois Hollande in 2015.

Addressing about 350 overseas people at a similar celebration in Brussels, Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and Luxemburg Vuong Thua Phong said last year, Vietnam continued to push forward international integration with a highlight being Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s Belgium visit last October.

Vietnam and the European Union (EU) recently wrapped up the 11th negotiation round on a bilateral free trade agreement, and the next round is about to take place in Hanoi.

He noted that both sides are resolved to conclude the talks as soon as possible. The deal, once it is signed, will bring about numerous economic benefits to the Southeast Asian country.

The diplomat said he hopes expatriates will actively engage in activities marking the 25th founding anniversary of the Vietnam-EU relationship this year.-VNA