A colourful combination of cultural and art performances in front of about 2,000 guests in the Chatelet Theatre, Paris has officially opened the Vietnam Year in France.

Following the France Year in Vietnam to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relationship between the two countries, the Vietnam Year is expected to present some 150 cultural events across France between February and July.

The opening witnessed the attendance of Vietnamese Minister of Culture and Sports Hoang Tuan Anh, who is visiting France on February 13-16.

The Vietnam Year in France will introduce to French and international friends about an Asian nation that has been so close and connected to France through history, culture and other ties, which are strengthened through Strategic Partnerships signed between two sides last year, Vietnamese Ambassador to France Duong Chi Dung told Vietnam News Agency correspondents.

"The event will make strong advances in the mutual relationship between the two countries as well as localities, connecting communities," said Dung.

"It's an ample opportunity for Vietnam to learn from France in terms of technology and experience in organising activities to promote the country's images abroad methodically and professionally."

Regarding cultural co-operation, Dung said the two sides were prepared to organise the biggest exhibition entitled "Dragons on Antiques" at the Guimet Museum in Paris in September and a large-scale conference "Vietnam Arts, a New Approach."

A range of activities will also be held to accelerate Vietnamese cinematography works, circus, water puppetry, contemporary dance and music, ca tru (ceremonial singing), and traditional martial arts performance. In particular, Vietnamese cuisine will be promoted through special programmes in local hotels, on streets and public spaces.-VNA