A series of international fairs opened on December 2 to boost trade relations between Vietnamese businesses and their foreign partners as well as to promote the tourist industry in countries in the Mekong region and Japan.

The 7 th International Trade Expo 2009 (Trade Expo 2009), held in Ho Chi Minh City, has drawn over 300 businesses from Vietnam and 12 other countries and territories, including the Republic of Korea, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia.

The Expo coincides with the International Exhibition on Housing and Furnishings (Home Living Vietnam 2009) where products from traditional craft villages such as handicrafts, ceramics, woodwork and canned fruits are on display. The exhibition will run until December 5.

More than 260 domestic and foreign companies are showcasing their products in nearly 500 stands at the week-long 2009 Vietnam International Agricultural Fair in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho. The exhibits include rice, seafood, agricultural machinery, processed foods, fertiliser, pesticides and cattle-feed.

Also in Can Tho city, the Mekong-Japan Culture and Tourism Fair is taking place to promote the tourist potential of Japan and the Mekong sub-region, strengthen ties and develop the partnership between Japan and countries in the Mekong sub-region.

The four-day fair offers a chance for the 100 businesses from Japan and the five Mekong countries, including Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam, to strengthen cooperation and cultural exchanges as well as seek out new partners.

Nguyen Van Tuan, Head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said that the fair also aims to strengthen friendship and cooperation between Japan and the countries in the Mekong sub-region./.