External relations and people-to-people exchange contributed significantly to Hanoi’s development in 2014 , said Le Hong Son, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee.

At a conference in the city on January 12 to review 2014 operations across Hanoi Union of Friendship Organizations (HAUFO) and establish action plans for 2015, Son said the city’s main vehicle promoting people-to-people exchange, the Union, maintains strong connections and friendship with foreign embassies and international organisations in Vietnam.

He reported that so far Hanoi has established relations with over 100 cities, countries and territories, making 2014 a successful year for the city’s external works. Numerous international events held in the capital this year enabled meaningful cultural exchange and fostered strong people-based diplomacy.

Son said HAUFO collaborated with the embassies of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, India, and Sri Lanka to organise friendship exchange programmes, enhancing mutual understanding between locals and visitors across the world.

According to the Vice Chairman, a seminar providing information about the East Sea issue was organised, while a special column at www.haufo.org.vn was also launched to introduce international friends to Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Sea and the Vietnamese Government’s consistent policy of abiding by international law in solving issues related to sovereignty.

Along with friendship exchanges, a series of cultural and sporting events were also held throughout the year to celebrate the nation’s holidays.

Speaking at the conference, President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations Vu Xuan asked HAUFO to continue forging links with relevant agencies in order to further promote its activities in 2015.-VNA