Updated  
January, 24 2014 08:32:00

Patriots return for Tet holiday

President Truong Tan Sang expressed his appreciation for the contributions of overseas Vietnamese in social and business activities, as well as in assisting with humanitarian aid.— VNA/VNS Photo Lam Khanh
HA NOI (VNS)— Nearly 2,000 Vietnamese expatriates gathered at the Xuan Que Huong (Homeland Spring) event at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in Ha Noi yesterday to celebrate the upcoming Tet holiday.

The concert, which featured performances from local and overseas Vietnamese artists, usually takes place every year one week before Tet, to welcome those returning home for the country's biggest holiday.

At the concert, President Truong Tan Sang expressed his appreciation for the contributions of overseas Vietnamese in social and business activities, as well as in assisting with humanitarian aid.

Sang said there were many challenges for the country to face in 2013 to maintain its economic stability, such as the effects of adverse weather and natural disasters, along with factors affecting sustainable growth.

"But we managed to overcome many obstacles through the unity of all people," Sang said. "Our progress would not have occurred without the great contributions of overseas Vietnamese, despite the fact that the situation in many countries was also very complicated."

Notably, Viet Nam's major achievement in 2013 was passing the amended constitution, which received comments from both the public in the country and overseas Vietnamese, Sang said, serving as the foundation to improve the legal system and government regulatory framework.

The President also praised those overseas Vietnamese who come back to invest, as well as those who return to share knowledge through conferences and scientific-educational exchange programs.

He also extended warm regards to about 4.5 million Vietnamese living in 103 countries and territories around the world.

Nguyen Thanh Son, deputy minister of foreign affairs and head of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, said that holding the event at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, which was recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site four years ago, reflected the love for the nation's cultural treasures that the people living in the country want to share with those living abroad.

Artists perform a music and dance show to welcome home overseas Vietnamese for the Tet holiday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Dan

This year, the Government will also review its 10 years of implementing a Party Politburo resolution on overseas Vietnamese and make changes, if necessary, to meet the demands and needs of overseas Vietnamese.

Pham Van Nghiem, 75-year-old, who lives in Bangkok, said he was very happy to return to the country, considering the unrest in Thailand, and enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere Viet Nam.

Mac Van Tan, a 59-year-old living in Munich, Germany, said this was the second time he returned for the concert. Originally from Hai Phong, Tan said he returns to his homeland frequently for business, sometimes staying up to several months a year.

"My hope is that the Government would continue supporting overseas Vietnamese who want to return here and invest, especially in easing administrative procedures, not just at the state level but at the local level, as well," Tan said.

Tran Quang Luc, an overseas Vietnamese living in Ukraine, said there are about 10,000 Vietnamese living in Ukraine and most rely on personal businesses, though they all try their best to maintain the Vietnamese traditions of celebrating the Lunar New Year.

He hoped the Government would put in place favorable policies to attract younger overseas Vietnamese in Ukraine to return and work for domestic companies or government organisations.

Professor Do Dinh Chien, an overseas Vietnamese living in France for more than 50 years, said he returned to the country for the first time in 1979, and since then frequently made trips home to teach. Chien said he hoped more efforts and resources would be put into developing the nation's long-term human resources.

In HCM City, there are more than 2,500 businesses owned by overseas Vietnamese, with a total registered capital of VND35 trillion ($1.66 billion), according to the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese.

Viet Nam remains one of the world's top 10 remittance-receiving countries, with remittances from overseas Vietnamese in 2013 estimated at US$10.6 billion, an increase of 6.5 per cent compared to the previous year, according to the World Bank. — VNS

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