Among distinguished guests present at the event were visiting Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh and a large number of overseas Vietnamese in France. At the ceremony, UGVF Secretary General Ngo Kim Hung extended New Year greetings to all Vietnamese residents living in France, and Vietnamese compatriots at home, especially soldiers garrisoned on the country’s islands. “Despite living far from home, Vietnamese people in France turn their heart to soldiers tasked with defending national territory in the homeland,” he said. Henry Dang, in charge of foreign affairs of the UGVF, affirmed that the Vietnamese community in France always follows and contributes to the country’s development. He noted 2013 was the Year of France in Vietnam which was marked by the signing of a strategic partnership between the two countries. 2014 is expected to see more improvements in bilateral relations following the recent opening of the Vietnam Year in France. He recalled challenges Vietnam faces in 2014 and said the Vietnamese community in France stands side by side with the nation to overcome those challenges. Participants had the chance to enjoy Vietnamese contemporary art performances by artists from the Vietnam National Academy of Music and the UGVF’s youth. Within the framework of the event, booths showcasing calligraphy, games for children, and Vietnam’s tourist attractions were also introduced.