|US is Vietnam’s largest export market – Photo for illustration (Source: VOV)
The relations between the two countries have flourished across multiple spheres, especially in economy, since their establishment of diplomatic ties in 1995.
Two-way trade turnover has enjoyed remarkable increases from just US$450 million in 1995 to US$35 billion in 2013 when the two countries established their comprehensive partnership, and to US$123.86 billion in 2022, making the US the first and only market that has surpassed the mark for the first time.
Fueled by the rapid growth, the Vietnam Trade Office in the US predicted that two-way trade turnover will continue to exceed the US$100 billion mark this year.
Expert say with more than 300 million consumers, the US is a potentially lucrative market for Vietnamese export commodities. However, Vietnamese exports only account for about 4% of the US’ total import turnover last year.
At present, Vietnam enjoys a significant advantage of exporting items such as agricultural products, seafood, garments and textiles, footwear, and electronic components to the US and many other countries.
Meanwhile, the US also has a great demand for importing a variety of products, especially industrial machines, civil aircraft, computers, semiconductor accessories, agricultural machinery, paper materials, cars, and auto parts.
To seize opportunities, Vietnamese businesses are required to proactively prepare sufficient sources of goods, maintain traditional partners, seek new importers, and take full advantage of existing cooperation mechanisms.
Renowned monumental Olmec head replica inaugurated in HCM City
The Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum and the Mexican diplomatic representation in Vietnam have recently unveiled the inauguration of a replica of one of the renowned monumental Olmec heads, Radio the Voice of Vietnam.
The event is part of activities to celebrate the 213th anniversary of Mexico's independence. The artwork will be permanently exhibited in the courtyard of the museum from September 15. It is a faithful replica of the original head known as "The King," due to its majestic appearance.
The original piece dates back over 3,000 years and is part of a set of 17 monumental heads - more than 2 meters tall and over 2 tons of weight - which are the most notable expression of the Olmec culture, the oldest of the civilizations of Mexico and the American continent.
|Monumental Olmec head replica (Photo: VOV)
The monumental Olmec head known as "The King" - both the original and the replica found in Vietnam - represents the rulers of that era and has Mesoamerican ethnic features such as a broad nose, thick lips, and slanted eyes, as well as aesthetic features in accordance with the beauty standards of that time. The original piece is in the Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa, Mexico.
The Embassy of Mexico in Vietnam requested the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico (INAH), the highest authority for protecting Mexico's heritage, to conduct a technical assessment of the replica located in the Fine Arts Museum of Ho Chi Minh City. The INAH determined that: "The replica (located in the Fine Arts Museum of Ho Chi Minh City) was crafted by specialists... who conducted a careful study of the form and the finishes of the original Olmec head. It can be considered as a very good work."
The Fine Arts Museum of Ho Chi Minh City designed a specific curatorial approach for this artwork. As part of that curatorship, photos of the Mexican rainforest from the region where the original monumental head was discovered are exhibited. These photos were provided by the Mexican Secretary of Tourism.
The Director of the Fine Arts Museum of Ho Chi Minh City Tran Thanh Binh said the museum has the opportunity to keep a replica of the Olmec head, a relic that not only is a symbol of artistic creativity but also contributes to reflecting the richness and diversity of the religious, social, and cultural concepts of an ancient civilization.
“As an essential part of world heritage, the Olmec head helps us to understand better the early stages of the civilization development in that region. The Fine Arts Museum of Ho Chi Minh City respects and protects the artistic heritage of the Olmec head replica to continue spreading the message of creativity and love for art to new generations, while also promoting the spirit of exploration and learning of different civilizations, which undoubtedly helps us to understand better human nature and the world around us", he added.
For his part, Mexican Ambassador to Vietnam, Alejandro Negrín, highlighted that the inauguration of this piece is a model of collaboration between institutions of both countries, and that this piece, which the Vietnamese people will be able to enjoy, shows a very important period of the ancient Mexican history.
The Ambassador added that replicas of similar monumental Olmec heads - crafted using fiberglass, resins, and pigments - were produced in Mexico in the 1970s, and that the head located in Ho Chi Minh City may have arrived to that city in the years after Mexico and Vietnam established diplomatic relations in 1975. That is, this replica would have arrived in Vietnam between 1975 and 1979.
The diplomat explained that there are only two significant Mexican artworks exhibited in public spaces in Vietnam. First, the sculpture "Totem City Stories" by the renowned sculptor Paloma Torres, donated to the city of Da Nang in 2017. Secondly, the above-mentioned replica of the monumental Olmec head "The King," whose inauguration is destined to be a powerful symbol of the extraordinary friendship between Mexico and Vietnam.
Vietnamese flavour excites crowds at International Culinary Village in France
Vietnam is joining more than 50 other countries from September 7 to 10 at the International Gastronomy Village 2023 in Paris, France, which is providing a delightful fusion of flavours, cultures, and experiences for food enthusiasts and cultural explorers alike, according to Radio the Voice of Vietnam.
The country used the occasion to introduce a range of dishes, such as Nem (spring rolls), beef noodles, and Banh Mi (baguette) to international friends.
Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its delicate combination of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy flavours in each dish. This creates a diverse and attractive culinary experience for guests to enjoy.
Along with lotus dances, Non La (conical hat) dances and Ao Dai (traditional long dress) fashion shows are taking place in front of the Vietnamese booth, offering a vibrant atmosphere for visitors.
These performances not only provide visitors with a wonderful experience, but also helped international friends to gain a deeper understanding of cultural values of Vietnam.
This is the second time Vietnam has participated in the annual event following the 2022 edition. The annual event takes place at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, attracting thousands of visitors.
One of the largest gourmet events in Paris, the International Gastronomy Village (or Village de la Gastronomie) features popular cuisines and cultures from many countries worldwide and several French regions.
This year’s festival features 40 demonstrations, 60 drinks masterclasses, and a vibrant lineup of events on offer.
Kien Giang province attracts 6.83 million tourists in eight months
The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang attracted 6.83 million visitors in the first eight months of this year, accounting for 82.3% of the total the province expected for the whole year, said the Vietnam News Agency.
The number of foreign visitors to the province during the period topped 468,300 or 33.8% higher than the plan.
The province posted a tourism revenue of over 13.6 trillion VND, 4.6% higher than the plan.
|A corner of Phu Quoc island in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang. (Photo: vneconomy.vn)
Those figures were released at a tourism promotion event that the provincial Tourism Department and Kien Giang Investment, Trade, and Tourism Promotion Centre organised in Ho Chi Minh City on September 8.
Speaking at the event, Quang Xuan Lua, Director of the centre, said that the locality wants to introduce tourism products and potentials to the Ho Chi Minh City market and other domestic and foreign partners.
Kien Giang is famous for beautiful landscapes and historical sites including Phu Quoc - Vietnam’s largest island, five archipelagos of Hai Tac, Ba Lua, An Thoi, Nam Du, and Tho Chu, plus more than 100 islands which have attracted more and more tourists in recent times.
The locality now has 940 accommodation establishments, and more than 33,000 rooms in operation./.