The Vietnam Year in France, which will open in Paris on February 14 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties, is expected to bring the two nations closer together than ever before, Vietnamese Ambassador Duong Chi Dung told the Vietnam News Agency in a recent interview.
The cultural year will begin at the Chatelet Theatre Hall, where 2,000 high-profile guests will be entertained by a repertoire of colourful performances.

According to Dung, the event will introduce Vietnam as an Asian country with a rich history, distinct culture and close-knit attachment with France, evidenced by the strategic partnership deal they signed last year.

“I highly hope that the Vietnam Year in France will further push relations between the two states and their ocalities, thereby allowing Vietnam to publicise its image further,” he said.

Reviewing the past activities, Dung said a string of cultural, music, economic, trade and exhibition events across major French cities were a big draw for visitors in the second half of 2013.

This year, both sides are particularly gearing up for their biggest-ever joint exhibition, themed “Dragons on artefacts” at the Guimet Museum of Asian Arts this September.

Meanwhile, France will host an international workshop themed “Vietnamese art, a new approach” and various Vietnamese movies will be screened during film festivals like Cannes and Vesoul.

Circus acts, water puppetry, ceremonial music and contemporary dance performances will also paint a vivid picture of Vietnamese culture.

For cuisine lovers, a wide selection of Vietnamese specialities will be available in hotels and public places.

In political-diplomatic terms, the Ambassador said Vietnam and France will facilitate all-level delegation exchanges with the first 2014 French visits by Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh and Minister of Justice Ha Hung Cuong and upcoming visits to Vietnam by French Minister for Higher Education and Research Genevieve Fioraso, Minister of Defence Jean Yves Ledrian, and President Francois Hollande.

Referring to the economic side, Dung mentioned the second Vietnam - France High-Level Economic Dialogue slated for April in Paris, which will be co-chaired by Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh and French Minister for Foreign Trade Nicle Bricq.-VNA