Leaders of the southern provinces of Vinh Long, Binh Duong and Ninh Thuan on Jan. 16 held meetings with dignitaries of religions in their provinces to extend best wishes to the religious community on the occasion of the Lunar New Year (Tet).

In Vinh Long province, Vice Chairman of People Committee Nguyen Van Thanh met with 60 dignitaries representing more than 221,000 followers of all religions in the locality.

Thanh highlighted the achievements of the province in 2011, in particular a record rice output of more than one million tonne, earning an export turnover of 378 million USD, exceeding the set target by 40 percent. Vinh Long also raised more than 25 billion VND to assist poor people to welcome Tet, to which the religious community made a significant contribuition.

He hoped that in 2012, local religious organizations will further strengthen the solidarity in the province and continue to join efforts with the local government to boost the socio- economic development.

In Binh Duong province, Vice Chairman of the People Committee Huynh Van Nhi hosted a get- together with dignitaries and representatives of Hoa ethnic group.

Nhi said the religious community and the Hoa ethnic people have significantly contributed to the province’s achievements by observing the nation’s law and policies, and actively participating in patriotic movements and charity activities launched by the province’s Fatherland Front.

The leaders of Ninh Thuan People Committee organised a similar event the same day.

Ninh Thuan is home to 27 ethnic groups who practise various religions at 170 places of worship./.