They introduced interior and exterior wood products, home décor, handicrafts, hotel furniture; and lighting equipment, attracting many UK wholesalers and retailers as well as exhibition visitors, according to Radio the Voice of Vietnam.
Nguyen Canh Cuong, Vietnamese Trade Counselor in the UK, said that joining the fair created opportunities for Vietnamese businesses to introduce high-quality products and meet potential importers and distributors.
Cuong pointed to the fact that currently the largest wood furniture exporter to the UK is China, followed by Germany and Poland. However, he said a lot of the furniture exported from Germany and Poland to the UK is of Vietnamese origin.
According to the trade official, as Vietnam is the third largest furniture producer and exporter in the world and the largest in Southeast Asia, its products can meet the requirements of the British market. He suggested Vietnam actively attend fairs like January Furniture Show to seek and establish partnerships and expand market share in the UK, instead of just focusing on trade promotion in Germany or Poland.
Furniture and fine art products are Vietnam’s key export items to the UK. 2022 alone saw Vietnam’s exports of wood and wood products to the UK reach US$239.66 million, accounting for nearly 4% of the total export value to this country.
According to the Vietnam Trade Office in the UK, the export of wood products and handicrafts to the UK has good prospects because this is the world’s fifth largest furniture market after the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Germany. In particular, many wood products will have a tax rate of 0% within the next five years under the terms of the UK – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.
Belgian television makes reportage on Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration
Belgium’s French-language television channel BX1 has broadcasted a reportage entitled "Vietnamese people celebrate Tet in Woluwe Saint-Pierre" about the Lunar New Year (Tet) that the Vietnamese Association in Belgium and the Vietnamese Embassy in Belgium organised on January 22 in Brussels.
The reportage said that about 400 Vietnamese people attended the traditional Tet festival in Woluwe Saint-Pierre district where not only Vietnamese people but also Belgians said to each other “Chuc mung Nam moi” (Happy New Year), according to the Vietnam News Agency.
Visitors to the festival had a chance to enjoy Vietnamese traditional foods and fruits, particularly grapefruit - an indispensable fruit during Tet celebrations.
The channel’s reporter introduced “banh mi” (Vietnamese bread) - a specialty whose name is included in the Oxford Dictionary.
The festival was decorated with parallel sentences or calligraphy brought from Vietnam.
According to the reportage, hanging calligraphy is an indispensable decoration in the houses of Vietnamese people during Tet. To write calligraphy, one must learn for many years, and calligraphers look like performing martial arts when writing.
Besides, the Tet festival included a peformance by an art troupe from Ho Chi Minh City. The reportage emphasised that about 5,000 Vietnamese people are living in Brussels and that the Tet festival will take place for 15 days starting on January 22 which marks the first day of the Lunar Year of the Cat.
Indian billionaire invites 700 guests to wedding party in Da Nang
The first guests from India, who are among 700 invitees to the five-day wedding party of bride Tuisha and groom Gaurav were warmly welcomed by the Tourism Department of Da Nang, Vietnam’s famous coastal resort city, on January 24.
Organizers said more than 350 guests of both families, a team of reporters promoting tourism, more than 100 Indian event staff and chefs, along with two tons of materials, costumes, and props will be moved from India to Da Nang to prepare for the wedding ceremony from January 25 to January 29, said Radio the Voice of Vietnam.
Da Nang Department of Tourism and Veydaa Events Company have organized this event, which is part of Da Nang’s plan to promote the city as a wedding destination for the Indians.
This will be the second largest wedding that Indian families chose to hold in Da Nang. Satish Ramnani, Director of Veydaa Events, an Indian wedding event organizer pioneering in bringing Indian weddings to Da Nang, said that in 2023, the company is planning two more weddings in this tourism hub of central Vietnam.
Flavors of Vietnamese Tet featured in foreign media
Vietnamese people’s celebration of Lunar New Year (Tet) has been featured in foreign media, reported by Radio the Voice of Vietnam.
India-based news site Wion ran an article entitled “Tet Holidays 2023: Vietnamese Lunar New Year origin, holiday dates, traditions & everything you need to know.”
It said, “There are many ways in which the Vietnamese people welcome the Lunar New Year. The people follow old traditions to celebrate the festivities and bond with the family members on the special occasion. Families will be cleaning and decorating their homes to mark the Lunar New Year in Vietnam. As families prepare a feast to worship the three kitchen guardians and pray for a well-stocked kitchen for the rest of the year, this is often the time of year for family get-togethers.”
The South China Daily (China) and the Jakarta Times (Indonesia) explained why Vietnamese people welcome the Year of the Cat and not the Year of the Rabbit like some other Asian countries.
Rice is an important part of Vietnam's agricultural economy, but the rice crop is often threatened by field rats, said South China Daily. Cats are the nemesis of mice and popular animals with Vietnamese people.
The Jakarta Times said the Year of the Cat will bring a lot of luck and smooth sailing to Vietnamese people.
According to the French news site Sortira Paris (sortiraparis.com) the Lunar New Year is the biggest holiday of the year for Vietnamese people. This is a tradition that has been maintained through many generations, the article said and suggested places to celebrate Tet in Paris for Vietnamese expatriates and international friends who want to learn about Vietnamese culture./.