Overseas Vietnamese in the UK raised funds to contribute to the National COVID-19 Vaccine Fund. — VNA/VNS Photo
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Head of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese (OV) Affairs Phạm Quang Hiệu talks to Vietnam News Agency about the “Xuân Quê Hương” (Homeland Spring) Programme 2022, the biggest annual event for OVs during Tết (Lunar New Year).
What is the meaning of the Homeland Spring Programme 2022, and what activities are planned for Vietnamese to return to welcome Tết amid the pandemic?
The pandemic is progressing in a complex fashion. However, Party and State leaders always create the best conditions for OVs to return home for Tết. The opening of commercial air routes with some countries is still on a trial basis and has yet to meet the demand of a huge number of OVs who want to return.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is coordinating with ministries and agencies to organise more flights to meet demand as well as negotiating to open regular commercial air routes.
The Homeland Spring 2022 is an event for OVs and is the biggest political, external relations activity at the beginning of 2022, aiming to foster links between OVs and their compatriots at home.
It is also a chance for Party and State leaders to listen to the aspirations of the Vietnamese community abroad and honour those that have made great contributions to the homeland.
The organisation of the programme with the participation and New Year wishes of Party and State leaders will show the affection and care for OVs following Conclusion No 12-KL/TW of the Politburo issued on August 12, 2021, on OV affairs.
The programme will feature diverse activities, including incense offerings to national ancestors, carp releasing, tributes to President Hồ Chí Minh and heroic martyrs, meetings with Party, State and Vietnam Fatherland Front leaders, and art performances. State President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc will take the podium during the programme to extend New Year wishes to OVs.
This year, the programme will be attended by representatives from northern Vĩnh Phúc Province to introduce trade and investment promotion programmes with OVs to encourage them to invest and contribute to the development of the province and the country.
How do you assess the resources contributed by OVs, particularly amid the pandemic?
The Vietnamese community abroad has shown good integration with the host country in all fields and are an important resource to contribute to the development of Việt Nam, particularly amid the pandemic.
Last year, despite COVID-19, remittance to Việt Nam rose 10 per cent over the previous year.
Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese entrepreneurs abroad have promoted import and export activities and contributed to “Vietnamese people using Vietnamese products” within their communities.
In terms of science and technology, innovation and high-quality human resources, the Vietnamese community abroad achieved much.
Vietnamese intellectuals abroad have contributed to many important areas of the country such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), startups and innovation, pandemic prevention and control, and expansion of economic development.
The Vietnamese community abroad has also contributed to helping raise the country’s image and prestige in the country and across the world.
It is a precious thing that OVs always have a strong attachment to the homeland. Amid the pandemic, the Vietnamese community abroad has responded to the call of the Party, State and VFF leaders to support the pandemic fight. In the 2020-21 period, the community donated about VNĐ115 billion ($5.05 million) as well medical supplies to the homeland.
Vietnamese medical experts and doctors from abroad have also consulted and shared their experience or volunteered to return to the country to join the pandemic fight.
What are the key tasks for the Vietnamese community abroad?
The Vietnamese community abroad has become an important resource for national development.
The Party and State’s consistent policy about OVs is affirmed in Resolution No 36-NQ/TW of the Politburo, which states Vietnamese abroad are not only an indispensable part but also a resource of the Vietnamese community and nation.
The Resolution of the 13th Party Congress asked for policies to attract OV resources and develop networks to connect Vietnamese talents and scientists to contribute to national development.
Conclusion No 12-KL/TW of the Politburo also stresses the need to encourage and create conditions for the Vietnamese community abroad to make contributions to national construction and protection.
Recently, the Government issued an action plan on OV affairs for 2021-2026, which set out the missions and solutions to realise Conclusion No 12.
To improve OV resources, it is necessary to implement the following:
Firstly, continuing to raise awareness of OV affairs and the role of OVs.
Secondly, completing the legal system and reviewing and proposing amendments to regulations and building policies relating to Vietnamese entrepreneurs, intellectuals and experts abroad.
Thirdly, enhancing information coordination and exchanges to connect people inside and outside the country; encouraging networks of Vietnamese business people and intellectuals in host countries; and setting up more organisations to connect OVs; and inform them of related policies on investment, scientific and technological activities, and projects they can participate in.
Fourthly, effectively implementing the great unity tasks for OVs and increasing the connection between OVs and the homeland.
OV affairs will be implemented more strongly to demonstrate the affection and responsibilities of the Party and State in caring for the Vietnamese community abroad while encouraging and creating conditions for them to contribute to national development.
In 2022, OV affairs will focus on two major objectives: fostering national solidarity and encouraging resources from the OV community to be used for national development.
To this end, seven key tasks have been given, including a series of action plans such as the Government action plan on OV affairs for 2021-2026
More activities will be held to optimise resources from the Vietnamese community abroad for national development, strengthening their legal status, expanding teaching of Vietnamese, increasing information to the community, and improving the capacity of officials in charge of OV affairs. — VNS