The Vietnamese community in Belgium held a spring festival to welcome the traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) festival from January 30-31.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Manh Dung highlighted Vietnam’s encouraging achievements over the past years including a 5.32 percent GDP growth in 2009 despite the global financial crisis and becoming one of the leading economies in East Asia enjoying positive growths.

The Vietnam visit by the Belgian Foreign Minister just after he took office marked 2009 a special year for the Vietnam-Belgium relationship, Dung said, adding that the visit strengthened bilateral cooperation, especially as Vietnam chairs the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Belgium assumes EU Presidency in 2010.

On behalf of the Belgian guests, Parliamentarian Georges Pire, Vice Chairman of the Liege province’s Council, applauded the fine relations between the countries in culture, science, education and health.

He said he wished overseas Vietnamese in Belgium a happy and prosperous new year.

Enjoying the excitement of the New Year, overseas Vietnamese had a chance to eat traditional dishes. All the money collected from the spring festival will be used to buy health insurance cards for poor people in Vietnam./.