France - Vietnam Year to kick off next month

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Noel Poirier (L), the French Ambassador to Vietnam, introduces France Vietnam Year, to be held in Vietnam starting next month

The 2013-2014 France Vietnam Year, a series of cultural and economic events, will officially get underway on April 9 in Hanoi to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Jean Noel Poirier, France's Ambassador to Vietnam, was quoted by news website VnExpress on Wednesday as saying that all activities during France Vietnam Year aim to help both countries explore contemporary aspects of the other, as well as bolster bilateral ties.

The second Vietnam France Business Forum, scheduled to be held from April 7-9 in Ho Chi Minh City with the participation of more than 100 companies from France, will be one of the first events.

French enterprises will attend in more than 1,000 meetings with Vietnam's businesses.

Nicole Bricq, France's Minister of Foreign Trade, will be on hand to participate in the opening ceremonies for the business forum and France Vietnam Year.

A music and dance festival will take place in Hanoi in October 12, which will see performances by renowned French artists including the Jazz quartet Fabien Mary, the contemporary dance group Kubilai Khan Investigations and the Chabatz d'Entrar circus troupe.

A festival of light is set be held in December in front of the Independence House in Ho Chi Minh City, which will recreate the festival of light held annually in the French city of Lyon.

Also for Vietnam France Year, the Central Highlands city of Da Lat will organize an event to mark its 120th anniversary, including a ceremony of commemorating French-Swiss doctor Alexandre Yersin, who established the city.

After activities for Vietnam France Year finish in Vietnam at the end of this year, they will be carried out for the following six months in France.

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