|Vantage view: Colombia capital Bogota seen from the Monserrate hill. — File Photo
The Colombian Charge d'Affairs en pied to Viet Nam, Carlos Alfonso Alban Franco, wrote to Viet Nam News on the occasion of the 205th Colombian Independence Day, July 20.
Today we are celebrating 205 years since the day that marked the beginning of our independence, and we do so in a context of progress that fills us with joy and optimism.
Regarding Colombia there are many words to say and countless pictures to show, but most importantly, we as a nation tell the world who we are and what we are capable of; what we have achieved in these 205 years of independence is product of hard work, drive, talent and dedication of our people, which today makes us shine wherever we are.
I avail of this opportunity to highlight the celebration of the 36 years anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Colombia and Viet Nam in January 1, 1979. As the official representative of the Colombian government in Viet Nam, I am proud and committed to the consolidation of our friendship ties.
The Embassy opened its doors under the joint diplomatic mission framework of the Pacific Alliance. In the case of Viet Nam, Colombia shares office with the Embassy of Peru.
I seize this opportunity to share the significant progress made by Colombia in the past few years, particularly improving its economic and social indicators, as well as in the negotiation of free trade agreements, and further exploring infrastructure projects.
I am proud to say that the Colombia and Viet Nam relations are in their best moment; let's not forget the celebration of the II Political Consultation Mechanism, an excellent opportunity to continue our joint dialogue, for we had the chance to further explore issues related to food security, tourism, agriculture, climate change, natural disaster relief and trade, among many other relevant subjects.
Under the framework of the Forum on Cooperation between Latin America and East Asia (FEALAC), Colombia has led Spanish as a foreign language courses for tour guides from East Asian countries. Selected applicants are sponsored by the Colombian government to learn Spanish in Colombia's top Universities throughout the country for a period of four months. Viet Nam has actively participated in every edition in a unique opportunity to submerge in Colombian culture, its people and its mesmerizing landscapes.
On this occasion I would like to reaffirm our commitment to continue strengthening our bilateral relation, on the diplomatic, economic, commercial, cultural, academic field; working together in order to strengthen a dynamic and productive agenda between our two nations.
As for the Colombian cultural presence, the Embassy has been dedicated to promote moments of reflection through artistic joy. I hold very close to my heart the presentations of the Colombian group "Rio en Caribe" in HCM City, Hue and Ha Noi, as part of the successful programme of the Foreign Ministry through the Directorate of Cultural Affairs and the embassies, called "Colombia Promotion Plan Abroad", that seeks to develop official cultural diplomacy projects, which includes activities with the participation of artists from different disciplines and backgrounds. One key component of this type of diplomacy is the child recruitment prevention by armed outlaw groups in underprivileged areas as a social initiative.
I will not extend over other events where we have been present, with the strong conviction of encouraging cultural and academic exchanges in order to promote the circulation of ideas.
On this holiday, of course, I want to congratulate my fellow Colombian nationals and encourage you not to forget our culture, language, customs and traditions. You are the Colombian people ambassadors in Viet Nam, a wonderful country that has welcomed us all, to which Colombia feels close, despite the geographic distance that separates us.
One can definitely say that the pride of our country is its people, and that today more than ever we work hand in hand towards prosperity and a lasting peace.
Colombia will always be waiting for you with open arms.
Happy Independence Day! — VNS