Tet reflects nation’s power and people’s trust

Wednesday, 2017-01-25 14:11:24
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President Tran Dai Quang (centre, first row) poses for a family photo with Overseas Vietnamese who are among the attendees at the 2017 Xuan Que Huong (Homeland Spring) event in Ho Chi Minh City on January 20 (Source: VNA)
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NDO—These days, the Vietnamese people are making the final preparations to welcome Tet (the lunar New Year festival), which has been a sacred celebration for generations of Vietnamese. As for the Overseas Vietnamese (OV) community, who are living abroad throughout the world, the occasion always evokes a feeling of nostalgia and aspiration to return to their motherland.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City has become crowded with thousands of OVs who have returned to Vietnam to celebrate the Year of Rooster and reunite with their family members, who welcomed them with both tears and smiles of happiness.

Ho Chi Minh City has attracted a large number of OVs to invest and run businesses. The city is currently hosting around 200 OV businesses, experts and intellectuals; over 2,500 OV-run firms are running 122 projects. It has also attracted nearly 50% of the total amount of remittances sent back to the homeland by OVs. In 2016, the volume of remittances transferred to the country’s banking system reached about US$6 billion, with 57% of the remittances going to the southern metropolis.

According to the State Bank of Vietnam, 72% of the remittances are poured into production and business while 21.8% are injected into real estate. It has been shown that a part of the OV community wants to return to live and work in the motherland, while others are seeking business and investment opportunities there and many others have been serving as bridges and attracting investment to Vietnam.

At many forums, the OVs have expressed their hope that they can contribute not only money but also investment initiatives, technology and knowledge to their fatherland. They called on leaders and managers at home to work closely with OV communities abroad so as to make bridges connecting Vietnam with their host countries and transferring financial resources, technologies and knowledge to Vietnam. The “bridges” will also contribute to bringing Vietnam closer to foreign friends in their host countries, helping them to learn more about Vietnam.

Over the past few years, the Party and State have crafted more open policies targeting the OVs as well as practical activities encouraging their contributions to the national development. The OVs have been invited to participate in gatherings for lunar New Year festivals and the country’s major celebrations, giving opinions on the draft revised 1992 Constitution and documents of the national Party Congresses, and attending tours to Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago. A summer camp has also been held annually for OV youths. Notably, the visa-free policy has been warmly welcomed by Vietnamese expatriates, as it satisfies their aspirations while consolidating their bond with the fatherland.

The Party and State have upheld the line of perfecting the legal system and policies in order to meet the vital interests of OVs, providing them with favourable conditions to maintain ties with the homeland while encouraging cooperation and investment in science, technology and trade. Specifically, relaxed regulations on home-buying for OVs have been promulgated and the Law on amendments and supplements to the Law on Vietnamese Nationality was approved by the National Assembly.

Truong Dinh Thanh, who spent 40 years living in Japan, returned to Vietnam in 2008 and began working at the Ho Chi Minh City Hi-Tech Park. For him, only by celebrating Tet in Vietnam he can enjoy a true and authentic Tet. He said that although Vietnamese food and the ingredients to make Vietnamese dishes can be found abroad, he couldn’t fieel the warm atmosphere of his homeland there.

Johnathan Hanh Nguyen, President of Imex Pan Pacific Group, shared that he was among the first generation of Vietnamese working abroad but still keeping a close bond with the motherland. However, he was concerned that the next generation who are born and raised abroad haven’t developed such a close bond as their predecessors have. Thus, he called on more activities for the young OVs to learn more about their roots and Vietnamese cultural traditions, including the Tet celebration.

Tet not only provides an occasion for Vietnamese expatriates to reunite every spring, but also inspires pride and trust among Vietnamese in their national power and solidarity, encouraging them to join hands to overcome distance and barriers and work harder to build a developed and integrated Vietnam.