Starting with a splendid opening ceremony held on November 11, 2017, the 23-day ‘Ho Chi Minh-Gyeongju World Culture Expo 2017’, the third global joint event of the traditional Gyeongju World Culture Expo, raised its curtain in the Nguyen Hue Street in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Nguyen Hue Street is a symbolic place where a statue of Ho Chi Minh stands and diverse activities and events are held.
The opening ceremony of the ‘Ho Chi Minh-Gyeongju World Culture Expo 2017’ was attended by over 2,000 persons including co-Chairmen of the Expo, Governor Kim Kwan-yong of Gyeongsangbuk-do Province and Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong of the People’s Congress of Ho Chi Minh City; Vice Chairmen of joint organizing committee of the Expo, Mayor Choi Yang-sik of Gyeongju City, Chairman Kim Eung-gyu of Gyeongsangbuk-do Provincial Council, Chairman Pak Seung-jik of Gyeongju City Council, high-ranking officials and dignitaries from Vietnam and Korea, Vietnam citizens and foreign tourists.
Other important attendees at the ceremony included General Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan of Ho Chi Minh City Communist Party, First Vice Minister Nah Jong-min of Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Lawmaker Gyeong-hwan of Korea’s National Assembly, Mayor Gwon Yeong-jin of Daegu City, Superintendent Wu Dong-gi of Daegu Office of Education, Consul General Pak No-wan of Korean Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh, President Goh Sang-gu of Federation of Korean Residents’ Associations in Vietnam, and many foreign delegations.
Foreign leaders who highly praised the Expo were Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An of Cambodia, Member Sous Tara of Cambodian Congress, Vice Minister Neth Phoumary of Cambodian Ministry of Culture, Governor Aip Gylymkhan of Bayan-Ulgii Province and three other provincial governors and a vice governor of Mongolia, and representative Andrrv Stepan of Russian Sakha Republic stationed in China.
Official program of the opening ceremony included introduction of invited guests, opening remarks by Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong of the People’s Congress of Ho Chi Minh City, address by Governor Kim Kwan-yong of Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, screening of a congratulatory message by President Moon Jae-in of Korea, congratulatory remarks by Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An of Cambodia and First Vice Minister Nah Jong-min of Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
In his opening remarks, Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said, “With geographical convenience, people’s diligence, dynamic spirit and creativity, Ho Chi Minh City grew into the center of culture, education, science and technology. As expressed in its theme ‘Common Prosperity of Asia Through Cultural Exchange’, we will promote mutual understanding among Vietnam, Korea, Asian countries and the entire world while strengthening cooperation in economic, trade, tourism and educational areas through the Expo. He also stated that the Expo will make significant contribution to further promoting and strengthening strategic partnership between Korea and Vietnam as well as friendly relations between Ho Chi Minh City and municipal governments in Korea and other countries.
“I am proud of opening the splendid stage jointly produced by the millennium-old capital of Silla Dynasty, Gyeongju, and dynamic city of Ho Chi Minh. Being an event designed as a part of the new policy for building partnerships with Southeast Asian countries of the President Moon Jae-in’s government, the Ho Chi Minh-Gyeongju World Culture Expo will open a path to harmony and peace through culture and that to hope and co-prosperity through economy,” said Governor Kim Kwan-yong in his address. “Despite short history of diplomatic relations, Korea and Vietnam have built the strongest economic relationship and enormous number of people are visiting each others’ countries. I expect our two countries will broaden areas of amity and cooperation in investment, trade and tourism by further maturing strategic partnership.”
In a congratulatory message, President Moon Jae-in said, “I sincerely congratulate the Ho Chi Minh-Gyeongju World Culture Expo 2017, and it is significant to hold the Expo jointly by Ho Chi Minh and Gyeongju marking the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. I look forward it will contribute to common prosperity of Asia through cultural exchange and serve as a chance of publicizing excellence of Asian culture throughout the world.”
In addition, Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An of Cambodia and First Vice Minister Nah Jong-min of Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also delivered congratulatory addresses.