The Overseas Vietnamese community have made major contributions to Vietnam’s development, especially after the implementation of a resolution of the Political Bureau on overseas Vietnamese (OV) affairs a decade ago.
In an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency reporters, Deputy Foreign Minister and Chairman of the State Committee on Overseas Vietnamese Affairs (COVA) Vu Hong Nam said the Party and State work diligently to ensure the overseas Vietnamese community is always considered during policymaking, such as the Politburo’s Resolution No. 36 in 2004.
To facilitate the realisation of the resolution, a number of legal documents have been developed and enforced to protect the legitimate interests of Vietnamese people abroad.
The OV community currently consists of roughly 4.5 million people across 109 countries and territories, Nam noted, adding that they have been establishing firm footholds in these foreign lands, helping to elevate Vietnam’s stature in the global arena.
About 10-15 percent of the OV community, or more than 400,000 people, hold graduate or higher degrees.
Thanks to policies encouraging their return, more than 300 Vietnamese intellectuals from developed countries such as the US, France, Germany, and Japan return to their homeland every year. Many of them specialise in economics, mathematics, healthcare, education, and nuclear and information technology, and intend to stay in Vietnam long-term, the official said.
In the time ahead, the COVA will conduct various activities to connect overseas and domestic intellectuals, including workshops and dialogues. It will also collaborate with the Ministry of Science and Technology to implement the Fostering Innovation through Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) project calling on OVs to engage in the country’s science and technology development, Nam added.
Meanwhile, overseas remittances to Vietnam exceeded US$ 70 billion from 2003 to 2013, with an annual growth rate of 10 percent and reaching US$ 12 billion last year, the Deputy Minister said, noting that Vietnam is now among the top 10 countries receiving overseas remittances in the world.
He cited the Central Institute for Economic Management as saying that remittances were the second largest source of capital in the country between 2007 and 2013, following foreign direct investment.
Nam said remittances play an important role in stabilising the macro-economy, maintaining trade balance, and fortifying investment and national reserves. They also help spur spending and foster private economic activities, ultimately contributing to unemployment reduction and poverty alleviation.
Favourable regulations such as removing caps on remitted money or facilitating OVs’ visits, property acquisitions, and investments in Vietnam have increased remittance inflows, he said.
The official also attributed the rise in remittances to the growing number of Vietnamese individuals going abroad to work, study, or reunite with their families as well as convenient banking services and a stable exchange rate between VND and USD. Promising investment opportunities in securities, real estate, insurance, education, and healthcare in the country are also magnets for overseas funds.