British prince, singer send Vietnam Tet message

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The Duke of York wished Vietnam a happy Lunar New Year with hopes of "peace and prosperity" on Thursday.

He also advocated for more educational and business cooperation between the two countries.

"I am pleased to see that trade and investment between our countries continues to flourish and develop notwithstanding the difficult international economic climate," Prince Andrew, also the UK's Special Representative for Trade & Investment, said in a note.

"British businesses want to develop loyal long-term partnerships in Vietnam," said the prince who has made regular visits to Vietnam since 1999.

Mr. Andrew is the second son and the third child of Queen Elizabeth the Second. He is fourth in line to the throne.

He expressed his gladness at seeing more young Vietnamese coming to study at British schools and universities.

The prince also wished Vietnam success in its role as the chair of ASEAN in 2010, which he called "a particularly significant year for Vietnam," as the capital Hanoi marks its 1,000th birthday.

Vietnam ranks the UK as its third largest EU investor after France and the Netherlands, with 109 projects whose registered value accounts for US$ 2.04 billion. Vietnam is one of the UK's top-17 priority markets around the world.

A Vietnamese song from Britain

Lee Kirby, a Briton known in Vietnam for singing the country's classic songs on YouTube, also sent a Tet message to the Vietnamese people with a new performance of Que nha (Home) by known songwriter Tran Tien on the internet.

British ambassador in Vietnam Mark Kent had suggested Kirby share a few words with Vietnamese people on the special occasion, the ambassador said in a British Embassy press release Thursday.

The employee at the London-based Ashbourne Independent College chose the low and sad song as the holiday is also a time overseas Vietnamese "miss Vietnam a lot," Kirby said before the performance which can be viewed at:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=be7FjgBQHus.

Kirby became popular in Vietnam for his Vietnamese singing in December 2004 when he posted several clips of himself singing songs by the late Trinh Cong Son and others on YouTube.

Kirby fell in love with Vietnam during his six month stint with a post office football club here many years ago.

"I've got a lot of love for Vietnam. I've got a lot of love for Vietnamese people. And I have been lucky enough to taste Vietnamese foods, to travel through your fantastic country, and through that journey, I had the great opportunity to obviously become closely connected to Vietnamese music," he said while introducing his Que nha performance.

Lee Kirby sings Que nha:

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