Series of events highlights 40th anniversary of Vietnam - UK ties

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The British Consulate General hosted the "Inspire, Learn and Innovate" event on January 14 in Ho Chi Minh City as part of a year-long cultural exchange of art, culture, education, and trade and investment between the UK and Vietnam.

At the event's press conference, British Consulate General Douglas Barnes said that 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Honorary commemorations will include the World Education Seminar held in the UK last month, London Fashion Week later this month and the Sustainable Built Environment conference in Hanoi in March.

For the first time, the British film festival will not only be organized in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City but will also reach cinema-lovers living in rural areas.

The eventful year will reach a crescendo in September with British and Vietnamese weeks, set to kick off on September 29.

The British Week in Vietnam will commence with a public marathon to raise funds for the British Business Group Vietnam charity.

At the reception party following the press conference, acclaimed designer Cong Tri staged his "Number 6" collection. Some designs of the collection will be presented in the prestigious London Fashion Week.

The guests were also enchanted by the performance of UK's acapella group "Black Voices," that had performed in Vietnam twice.

Nguyen Thi Hong, vice chairwoman of the HCMC People's Committee, said at the event that the UK is one of HCMC's biggest trade and investment partners from the EU, with a turnover of US$605 million in 2011 and 95 projects invested by the large British companies with a value of US$682 million, as part of the Strategic Partnership Agreement between Vietnam and the UK 2006 2015.   

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