by Xuan Hiep
HCM CITY (VNS)— About 1,000 delegates from around the world gathered yesterday in HCM City for the opening of the second Overseas Vietnamese conference.
|Politburo member and permanent member of the Communist Party of Viet Nam Central Committee Secretariat Le Hong Anh with the participants at the conference attended by about 1,000 Overseas Vietnamese. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu
The conference, titled Vision towards 2020 – Overseas Vietnamese Community integrates and grows with Homeland,is being organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese. It will run until Sunday.
Speaking at the opening session, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Thanh Son, the chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, said the conference would review the development and integration of the Overseas Vietnamese community with its homeland.
The conference will feature four parallel sessions – The Community's Future: Economic Integration and Growth Issues; Cultural Characters and National Traditions: Impetus for Community Solidarity, Linkage with Fatherland; Overseas Vietnamese Intellectuals with the Country's Industrialisation and Modernisation: from Potential to Reality; and Overseas Vietnamese Businesspeople's Contribution to the Future of the Community and Fatherland.
The community of Overseas Vietnamese was represented by academics, businesspeople, writers and artists, leaders of organisations, and youths.
The conference was also attended by Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan, former vice president Truong My Hoa, officials from ministries, Government agencies and local administrations nation-wide, and representatives of Vietnamese agencies and Overseas Vietnamese associations in foreign countries.
Hoa underlined the significant contributions made by the Overseas Vietnamese community to the country's socio-economic development.
She hoped more Government policies would be implemented to encourage the Overseas Vietnamese community to contribute to their fatherland through investments.
Phuong Kim Vy, a Vietnamese-Canadian and CEO of the Cliff Resort and Residences, said this was her second such conference.
"The conference plays an important role in connecting Government leaders and policy makers with Overseas Vietnamese by offering them an opportunity to share opinions and understand each other better so that more policies can be implemented to encourage Overseas Vietnamese to invest in the country," she said.
It is good that Viet Nam has allowed Overseas Vietnamese to have dual nationality and ownership of property in the country, Vy said.
Overseas Vietnamese not only contributed to the country through remittances, intellectual (or white-collar) skills, and technology transfer but also helped create a stable market for Vietnamese products in their home countries.
Vu Kim Huong, a Vietnamese-French businesswoman, dismissed negative comments about doing business in Viet Nam, saying: "To me there is no place better than our homeland, if we know how to adapt well, we can do business successfully anywhere.
"I think that we have a lot of opportunities to do business in Viet Nam, especially in tourism because Viet Nam has a favourable climate and long beautiful coastline, which is an advantage to develop tourism."
Helena Van, who owns three companies in Sweden, said the biggest challenge for Overseas Vietnamese to invest in Viet Nam is the complicated and time-consuming administrative procedures, which frustrate many foreign investors.
The country should improve it as soon as possible, she said.
Around 4.5 million ethnic Vietnamese live in more than 100 nations and territories around the world, according to the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese.
They include over 400,000 scientists and experts working for research institutes and universities in developed countries.
Remittances and investments by Overseas Vietnamese totalled nearly $20 billion every year, while the intellectual skills of the community would be a treasure for the country's socio-economic development if the country could effectively take advantage of them.
Their remittances topped US$6 billion in the first eight months of this year, compared with $9.4 billion in the whole of last year.
The community has invested $6 billion in 2,000 projects in Viet Nam.
Today, the conference will continue with the four parallel sessions.
The first Overseas Vietnamese conference was held in Ha Noi in 2009. — VNS