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Overseas Vietnamese encouraged to forge closer links

(VNA) - The government has been active in supporting the overseas Vietnamese (OV) community to integrate into the local society as smoothly as possible, said Nguyen Phu Binh, Deputy Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Committee for Overseas Vietnamese (COV), in Ha Noi, on April 10.

According to Binh, a fund established for the support of overseas Vietnamese has so far financed dozens of projects on education for Vietnamese expatriates in Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. It has also organised performance tours of France, Thailand, Russia and northern European countries.

The government has been eager to welcome back the OV community and has amended policies and doled out greater incentives to Vietnamese expatriates regarding investment, business, land purchases, immigration and foreign currency remittances.

Administrative procedures such as customs, entry/exit, residence and travel have been simplified in addition to the application of the one-price policy.

Activities to boost cultural and sports exchanges between overseas Vietnamese communities with the country have also been intensified.

As a result, the number of overseas Vietnamese returning to the country for visits and business opportunities has skyrocketed from 300,000 in 2003 to more than 500,000 in 2006.

By the end of 2006, the OV community had invested 14.5 trillion VND (906 million USD) in 2,050 projects in Viet Nam.
The Deputy FM also pointed out shortcomings, especially in administrative procedures and addressing complaints that were still causing inconvenient problems for overseas Vietnamese.

He said activities during the 2007-2010 period will further support the overseas Vietnamese to integrate into the local community, maintain their traditional cultural identities, and teach and learn the mother tongue abroad.

The COV has proposed that the Government increase measures and policies to create a more open environment for overseas Vietnamese to do business, invest, trade, transfer technology, and conduct research in the country./.

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