Newhaven Chamber of Commerce President Annie Lorys attended a lavish reception at the Cadogan Hall, London, last Thursday night.
He attended as a special guest of the Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK, Vu Quang Minh.
The event was a celebration of the National Day of Vietnam and the 40th anniversary of the Vietnam–UK Diplomatic Relations.
Following a presentation in May of this year by the Vietnamese Ambassador in Newhaven of a statue and a marble plaque on the West Quay to recognise the town’s links with Ho Chi Minh, who worked on the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry, Newhaven has been continuing to forge diplomatic and trade links with the country.
The event at Cadogan Hall was attended by more than 400 guests, including HRH The Duke of York, Lord Astor – Parliamentary Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Defence, Lord Powell - former Private Secretary and Adviser on Foreign Affairs and Defence to Prime Ministers Thatcher and Major and the Rt Hon George Howarth MP who is Chairman of All Party Parliamentary Group on Vietnam.
The evening began with a cocktail reception and buffet of traditional Vietnamese food followed by an official ceremony.
Prince Andrew was the opening speaker and described how he had been developing and fostering diplomatic and trade relations with Vietnam for 14 years and continues to be a regular visitor to the country.
His next visit is later this month.
During the official ceremony Newhaven was mentioned several times – the Ambassador Vu Quang Minh said that it was 100 years since Ho Chi Minh arrived in the UK and that he was delighted that this event had been marked by Newhaven with a marble plaque on West Quay and this would in due course be replaced by a statue of Ho Chi Minh.
Mr Le Hoang Quan, Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City’s People Committee, also added he very much appreciated the co-operation with the leaders of Newhaven and that he was very grateful for the warm welcome extended to him by everyone in the town.
The evening finished with a performance of traditional and modern dances and songs from Vietnam.
At the invitation of the Ambassador, a delegation from the Newhaven Chamber of Commerce will be visiting the Vietnamese Embassy in London on November 7.