Vital contribution of OV community

September 14, 2022 | 10:57
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It has been one year since the Politburo’s Conclusion No.12-KL/TW regarding overseas Vietnamese affairs and the government’s Resolution No.169/NQ-CP on the work for the 2021-2026 period took effect. Pham Quang Hieu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and chairman of the State Commission for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, spoke with VIR’s Thanh Dat about the contributions of Vietnamese abroad to national socioeconomic development.

What is your assessment of the existing performance of the overseas Vietnamese community?

The overseas Vietnamese (OV) community has gone from 4.5 million people in 109 countries and territories in 2013 to over 5.3 million people living and working in 130 countries and territories today.

Vital contribution of OV community
Pham Quang Hieu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and chairman of the State Commission for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs

OV communities have been developing strongly and are recognised by local authorities and people as a resource for development. They are increasingly involved and hold many important positions in local politics.

Generations of expatriates growing up now enjoy a higher education, and the number of students going abroad to study and live has significantly contributed to the increase in the quality of young expatriates. Many young Vietnamese have also achieved success in the international arena.

What are the key OV contributions to Vietnam’s socioeconomic development?

There are two characteristics that I think will never change for OV: the tradition of solidarity and their love for the homeland.

Regarding the tradition of solidarity, via thousands of associations, OV are increasingly closely connected, sharing, caring, and supporting one another to develop.

The connection needs of the OV communities today do not stop at the national level but have reached out across the continent through the Union of Vietnamese People Associations in Europe or the network of OV intellectuals who support innovation run by 21 associations in 15 countries.

Most recently, when the conflict broke out in Ukraine, the Vietnamese community in European countries responded to the state’s call and donated, supported, and urgently provided necessities, food, and accommodation for thousands of Vietnamese in Ukraine who had to evacuate to neighbouring countries.

During the pandemic, OV associations such as the Student Union and the Businessmen’s Union organised many campaigns to raise funds and support individuals and families in difficulty.

In each period of national development, there is always a significant contribution from our compatriots abroad.

Economically, remittances to Vietnam in 2021 have increased, reaching $18.1 billion. There were also nearly 400 overseas investment projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of over $1.7 billion.

Large and regional-level enterprises and groups established by OV entrepreneurs have contributed to job creation, technology transfer, and socioeconomic development in many localities across the country.

During 2020-2021, OV contributed VND80 billion ($3.48 million) and many items to support the national vaccine fund and to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Since 2012, OV have contributed over VND10 billion ($435,000) to the Truong Sa [Spratly] island district and DK1 platform, along with two sovereign boats, and more than VND3 billion ($130,400) to the “Fund for Vietnamese Sea and Islands” and many valuable artefacts.

Moreover, many OV intellectuals have been participating in the government’s advisory boards, and 17 are members of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front for the 2019-2024 tenure.

Networks of expatriate experts and intellectuals connect across many countries and regions with agencies, scientists, and research centres in Vietnam. They have organised many forums and conferences, gathering hundreds of OV experts and scientists.

Additionally, they also play an important role in promoting Vietnam’s image and status to the countries they are living in and beyond.

However, in some regions, OV still have many difficulties in legal status, with their basic rights yet to be guaranteed. They have not really integrated into the host society, and this will require more attention and care from our Party and state.

Vital contribution of OV community
The OV community has been extending support to Vietnam’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic

After Conclusion No.12-KL/TW was issued last year on the work of foreign affairs in the new situation, how has this work been implemented, especially with the conclusion’s new points?

Over the past year, the State Commission for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs has been carrying out all aspects of work, especially focusing on the breakthroughs required by Conclusion 12 and Resolution 169.

The commission has developed and submitted that Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) leaders roll out the ministry’s Action Programme and have held a conference to thoroughly grasp Conclusion 12 and Resolution 169 for 63 provinces, cities, departments, agencies, socio-political organisations nationwide, and nearly 100 representative agencies abroad, in order to disseminate the policy, tasks, and solutions to effectively implement of the OV work in the new situation.

Work for greater solidarity is one of the key areas the commission has been focusing on since the new regulations came into force. We are working to develop many programmes to strengthen national unity with compatriots abroad.

National and MoFA leaders all take opportunities to meet, interact, listen to comments, and respond to feedback from their compatriots overseas.

Events hosted by the commission have been significant to the work of national unity and connecting OV with the homeland, such as the Spring Homeland 2022 programme, the Hung Kings’ Commemoration Ceremony, a delegation visiting Truong Sa island district, and the Vietnam Summer Camp 2022 Programme.

At the same time, community support has been promoted, showing the responsibility and affection of the country for our compatriots abroad, especially supporting them in difficult countries such as Cambodia and Ukraine. Also, the work of mobilising and promoting the resources of OV has continued to be strongly implemented.

How can OV resources be tapped in service of national development?

The MoFA is coordinating with government agencies across the board to develop a scheme for strengthening the resources of OV in service of national development.

We are now working on forming a network of presidents of overseas business associations (32 presidents in 26 countries) and an overseas intellectuals association (30 presidents in 26 countries), especially focusing on innovation networks established in economies such as Europe, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Australia.

Since the Since Conclusion 12 came into force, the commission has organised about 50 events connecting overseas businessmen and intellectuals with agencies and domestic enterprises.

The commission has also reviewed legal policies for OV, and launched a programme to survey OV opinion on laws and administrative procedures.

The commission also strives to diversify forms of support and promote the inclusion of Vietnamese in the curriculum in countries with many OV. On August 3, the prime minister approved the project “Honouring Vietnamese language in the OV community for 2023-2030,” taking September 8 every year as a milestone for honouring the beauty of the Vietnamese language and enhancing the teaching and learning of Vietnamese abroad.

Additionally, OV have been provided timely information about the country’s situation and policies, contributing to strengthening national unity.

Can you share your thoughts on your role as chairman of the State Commission for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs?

The OV work is closely directed by the Party and the government, and requires the participation of almost all ministries, agencies, sectors and localities throughout the country. The MoFA has also identified the OV work as one of the four key contents of foreign affairs.

The effective implementation of this work will contribute to building a stable, developing, and country-oriented OV community, and at the same time directly help boost national socioeconomic development strategy.

I am very proud to see our OV community succeed, develop, and always have a heart towards the homeland. However, I also worry many times when I see the difficulties that people in some areas are facing.

I think that as a state management agency in charge of OV, in the coming time, we need to strongly and comprehensively carry out the work of supporting and mobilising OV, further enhancing awareness and roles of agencies, ministries, sectors, and localities in the deployment of OV work, in order to widely gather our overseas Vietnamese into a great national unity bloc.

This will contribute to the strong promotion of aggregate strength so that we can soon realise the aspiration of developing a strong, prosperous, and happy country.

Action programme aims to promote overseas Vietnamese-related affairs Action programme aims to promote overseas Vietnamese-related affairs

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has signed a resolution on the issuance of a government action programme to continue accelerating the implementation of the Politburo's directions regarding overseas Vietnamese (OV) affairs in the 2021-2026 period.

Overseas Vietnamese strengthen Danang’s investment climate Overseas Vietnamese strengthen Danang’s investment climate

The central city of Danang is expected to become more vibrant with a flow of investments from overseas Vietnamese.

Cash flows into overseas Vietnamese homeland continue to support its rise Cash flows into overseas Vietnamese homeland continue to support its rise

Over the past years, Vietnamese overseas have helped improve livelihoods back home with increasingly large remittances, with inflows into the nation expected to continue increasing this year.

By Thanh Dat

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