Promoting potential of overseas Vietnamese

Friday, 2016-11-18 18:17:58
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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaking at the third Conference for OV (Credit: VNA)
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NDO—The more than 4.5 million overseas Vietnamese (OVs) are an inseparable part of the national community, and many of them have aspirations of coming home to contribute their efforts and knowledge to the cause of the country’s construction and development.

It can be said that the State’s correct policies have created favourable conditions in which for Vietnamese expatriates to realise their dreams.

The third Conference for OVs, which was held in Ho Chi Minh City, received special attention from public opinion both in the country and abroad. At the event, the delegates raised their voices to express their enthusiasm and desires to make greater contributions to the motherland. The conference’s atmosphere reflected the tremendous changes in their consciousness of their responsibility to the cause of national construction and defence. With the participation of over 500 expatriates from 36 countries and territories, the conference achieved fruitful results.

During the first OV Conference in 2009, many delegates were wary of stating their points of view; however, at this year’s event, they openly and frankly shared numerous opinions on the country’s development. At the conference, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed that the country always welcomes Vietnamese expatriates who live far away from the fatherland to come back, with their hearts, ambitions, ideas and resources, to contribute to the cause of national construction and defence.

Many people were touched to hear the story of a Vietnamese American, Kieu Linh Caroline Valverde, which touched many people. Having left Hanoi for the US at age five, she forgot the Vietnamese language and her homeland’s traditional customs in her new environment. However, she tried to learn Vietnamese to gradually connect with her homeland. She devoted her enthusiasm and efforts to studying the OV community in the US and published a book entitled “Transnationalising Vietnam.”

After returning to Vietnam, Kieu Linh carefully researched Vietnam’s history, as well as the relations between Vietnam and other countries. Currently, being a professor and doctor teaching Vietnamese and Asian culture at the UC Davis University, she still actively participates in numerous activities promoting Vietnamese culture to foreign friends. She is also keen to open a centre for researching Vietnam at the university.

Dr. Nguyen Thanh My, who was born in the province of Tra Vinh, left Vietnam for Canada when he was mature. He was known as a successful entrepreneur in Canada and the founder of American Dye Source, Inc., researching and producing organic materials used in printing, luminescence, organic electronics, three-dimensional imaging, etc. During his visit to the fatherland in 1999, the changes in Vietnam, particularly the Party’s and State’s policies calling for investment and business from Vietnamese expatriates to Vietnam, convinced him to return to the fatherland.

He founded Mylan Group, an innovative and environmentally conscious specialty chemical company located in TraVinh Province, in 2004. The Mylan Chemicals and Mylan Printing Media projects, worth a total of US$10 million, are significant and practical contributions by Nguyen Thanh My to his homeland. Products from Mylan Group have been exported to numerous countries, including the US, Canada, Spain and China, and the Group has become a prestigious CTP zincograph manufacturer on the international market.

The return of Kieu Linh and Nguyen Thanh My are just two examples demonstrating the enthusiasm and desire of Vietnamese expatriates to see how the country has developed over the years. The number of OVs returning to the fatherland increased from 160,000 in 1993 to 430,000 in 2004. Thousands of projects in the country received investment and remittances increased incessantly.

According to the statistics of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), since 1991, the amount of remittances to Vietnam has attained an annual average growth rate of over 38%; and Vietnam received total remittances of about US$108.6 billion between 1993 and 2015. In 2015, remittances poured into Vietnam reached US$12.25 billion, a year-on-year increase of US$0.25 billion, putting it in eleventh place globally in terms of attracting remittances, as announced by the World Bank.

OV communities have also actively promoted their role as a bridge connecting Vietnam with other countries around the world. The cooperation between OV businesses and domestic enterprises has helped Vietnamese products reach the international market.

The participation of the OV intelligentsia has contributed to breakthroughs in scientific and technological research and application activities the and implementation of charitable projects in the country. The statistics of the Foreign Ministry’s State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs showed that over the past ten years, the average number of OV intellectuals returning and working in Vietnam has consistently increased. This demographic includes numerous well-known personalities, such as Professor Tran Thanh Van, Ph.D., from France, Professor Vo Van Toi, Ph.D., from the US and Professor Truong Nguyen Thanh from the US.

The third Conference for OVs showed the correctness and effectiveness of the Vietnamese Party’s guidelines and the Vietnamese State’s policies on the OV community. Resolution No. 36-NQ/TW of the Politburo (ninth tenure) affirmed that the OV community is an integral part of the nation, a resource and an important factor contributing to enhancing the cooperation and friendship between Vietnam and foreign countries.

The Party and State always encourage Vietnamese expatriates to actively integrate, strictly abide by the laws of their host countries and improve their lives, as well as to uphold the spirit of national pride, preserve their language and cultural identity and actively contribute to the fatherland’s development.

Continuing to accelerate the implementation of Resolution No. 36-NQ/TW during the 2016-2020 period, on April 5, 2016 the Government issued an action plan outlining specific tasks, such as communicating and thoroughly grasping the Resolution and Directive 45-CT/TW, strengthening national unity and reconciliation with OV communities and creating favourable conditions in which for Vietnamese expatriates to stablise their lives and integrate into the social life in their host countries.

In addition, it is necessary to supplement and improve the policies and laws on the OVs, mobilise their involvement in the national construction and defence, enhance communication with them, support OV communities in preserving the Vietnamese language and their traditional cultural identity, diversify and improve the efficiency of gathering and mobilising expatriates and strengthen organisational structure and coordination mechanisms in the work related to the overseas Vietnamese.

In order to effectively attain all targets, Vietnamese people in the country and the OV community need to continue working together. They will certainly be a tremendous force for the country’s development in all aspects.

SONG GIANG