Gov’t successfully reaching out to overseas Vietnamese
The revised law enabling overseas Vietnamese to hold dual nationality, including retaining their status as Vietnamese citizens, has received the support and appreciation of the overseas Vietnamese community, Son said.
“Domestic agencies are drafting guidelines for the implementation of this law in order to create favourable conditions for overseas Vietnamese to live, work and do business in foreign countries, as well as facilitating their activities aimed at supporting the homeland,” the deputy minister added.
Relevant agencies have been proactive in implementing a visa exemption scheme for Vietnamese nationals who live abroad, signed by the Prime Minister on Sept. 1, 2007, and proposed that the government expand the list of overseas Vietnamese who are eligible to buy and own houses in their native country.
“Our senior leaders always give priority to supporting overseas Vietnamese in their foreign affairs. Representative offices abroad have actively worked with the authorities in foreign countries to protect the legitimate interests of the overseas Vietnamese living there,” Son stressed.
A series of community activities targeting overseas Vietnamese took place last year, both at home and abroad, including the organisation of home visits for outstanding individuals, enabling them to participate in the Hung Kings’ memorial services and the National Day celebrations.
In addition, many young Vietnamese people living overseas received invitations to participate in summer festival in Vietnam , as well as another festival held in the Russian capital of Moscow .
In a number of provinces and cities across Vietnam, local authorities worked alongside Fatherland Front chapters to assist the work of liaison and relatives associations for overseas Vietnamese to encourage them to invest in their homeland and provide financial assistance for those affected by disasters and Agent Orange/dioxin victims, as well as the nation’s poor and disabled.
The deputy minister announced a series of activities planned for 2009, including a Lunar New Year (Tet) festival, a programme entitled the Legend of Con Dao, trips home for three generations of overseas Vietnamese, and a festival for young Vietnamese who live abroad.
Most notably, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will, for the first time, host a conference attended by overseas Vietnamese from all corners of the globe.
Regarding the country’s efforts to reach out to intellectuals of Vietnamese origin, particularly the young, he said an increasing number of young overseas Vietnamese are keen to contribute to the development of their homeland, citing thousands of Vietnamese intellectuals who have returned home to find work, many of them aged between 30-40.
Overseas Vietnamese businesses have demonstrated their interest in business opportunities in Vietnam , resulting in 3,000 projects worth almost 2 billion USD being funded by overseas Vietnamese investors.
In addition, many overseas Vietnamese from younger generations have participated in humanitarian activities to assist their countrymen in coping with the aftermath of natural disasters and epidemics. They have also displayed their willingness to contribute to hunger elimination and poverty reduction campaigns and have given their backing to schemes to increase the availability of medical treatment and to encourage academic study.
However, the official noted that the country should establish a long-term strategy to encourage young overseas Vietnamese to contribute even further to Vietnam ’s development.
According to statistics released by the committee, there are around 3.5 million Vietnamese citizens living, working or studying in almost 100 different countries and territories around the world.
The number of overseas Vietnamese returning home during this year’s Lunar New Year Festival is expected to rise compared with last year’s figures, despite the impacts of the global economic slowdown, Son said.
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