Vietnamese Lunar New Year cozy: Douglas Barnes

British Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Douglas Barnes has talked with Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper about the 40th anniversary of the Vietnam-UK diplomatic relations and shared his interesting feeling of the Lunar New Year (Tet holiday) in Vietnam.

British Consul general and staffs at a charity fair (Photo :SGGP)

The Consul General and his wife, Judith has enjoyed Tet holidays for three times in the country. He welcomed the first Lunar New Year in Vietnam in 2012 just one week after he took the position. This is also his most special Tet holidays.

He was impressed with the way the Vietnamese people welcome Tet and the local culture. Tet (Lunar New Year) is traditionally an occasion for reunions, sharing, and caring . It is so enjoyable to see family members gathering together and the atmosphere is very cozy, he said during the talk.

For him and his family members, Tet is an occasion to make a tour around the city. The air in these days is very wonderful as festive preparation begins around one week before the date and the celebratory atmosphere lingers another week after that.

Many people return their hometown to reunite with their relatives so streets are empty, the tranquility replaces the daily hectic air, he said.

Mr. Douglass Barnes said that he also loves how streets in downtown were decorated as the blue of fruits is mixed with beautiful colors of flowers. Seeing that people take their time walking along flower streets, he feels the life is so beautiful and peaceful.

Upon the relations between Vietnam and the UK, Barnes said that both countries were successful in raising the two-sided relations to higher level in many fields including politics, economy, commercial and investment and education.

The two-sided commercial turnover has dramatically increased since 2010. In 2014, the two-sided commercial turnover reached over US$4 billion and Vietnam attracted US$3 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) from the UK.

More meetings between high-ranking officials of the two countries have seen and will be maintained in 2015.

More and more companies in the UK have  required the Consulate to provide more investment information in Vietnam, said Barnes.

He added that he was going to appoint a direct investment official who will work with the UK’s trading and investment chamber in Vietnam to seek more information of investment in Vietnam.

With progress between the two countries’ relations, Barnes said that the two-sided relations would reap the fruits of success because Vietnam would develop more and the UK continued to be a reliable and strategic partner.

As a member of the EU the UK has supported Vietnam to sign the Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement, he said.

By Do Van - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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