The Vietnamese Embassy in Israel hosted a virtual gathering on February 10 in order to celebrate Tet with Vietnamese workers and students who are working at Israeli agricultural co-operation centres. The annual celebrations were moved online to ensure safety for all participants due to the complicated nature of the COVID-19 situation.
Upon briefing the OVs on the domestic and international situation over the past year, Vietnamese Ambassador Do Minh Hung stressed the critical damage that the COVID-19 outbreak has had on the world.
Despite this, the local diplomat believes Vietnam was highly successful in completing the dual tasks of preventing the pandemic while simultaneously maintaining GDP growth of approximately 3% in order to ensure local social welfare.
With regard to Vietnam-Israel relations, the Ambassador highlighted bilateral co-operation across trade, aviation, and labour, with trade a particular highlight with exchange value topping US$1.3 billion, in comparison to US$1.1 billion in 2019.
In line with this, the Vietnamese Embassy has paid due attention to citizen protection and arranged two flights aimed at bringing Vietnamese citizens home amidst the pandemic, he stressed.
In Austria, the Vietnamese Embassy held a celebration for Tet with the participation of OVs in both Austria and Slovenia, along with international friends, including Laotian Ambassador Sithong Chitnhothinh.
Vietnamese Ambassador Le Dung wished guests good health and success in the Year of the Buffalo, while also hailing the activities of the Vietnamese community throughout 2020, including organising Vietnamese classes, and donations to support flood-hit victims in the central region.
Last year saw the nation emerge as a bright spot in the world in terms of containing the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, adding that despite formidable challenges, the country has attained excellent achievements in socio-economic development and foreign affairs.
Most notably, the nation is among the few to record positive economic growth, thereby being a model in the fight against COVID-19, he said.
In relation to Vietnam-Austria ties, Ambassador Dung said both countries will be able to maintain sound trade relations thanks to the implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). Indeed, with 35 effective projects worth US$147.3 million, Austria ranks 44th among 139 countries and territories which have investments in Vietnam.
Two-way trade reached more than US$3 billion, representing a drop from the previous year due to the fall in purchasing power and the impact of COVID-19.
The embassy also presented Tet gifts to members of the OV community based in Vienna and Linz in Austria and Maribor in Slovenia.
This year, the Vietnamese Embassy in Switzerland celebrated the Lunar New Year by making Chung cake, the traditional food for Tet, which were presented to Vietnamese expatriates by post. Ambassador Le Linh Lan also sent Tet greetings to members of the OV community through a letter, in which she highlighted numerous Vietnamese achievements over the past year.
She said the embassy has stood side by side with the OV community by carrying out a wide range of support activities, thereby helping to build a united community.