Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The overseas Vietnamese (OV) community is an inseparable part of the nation, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam Central Committee, President Nguyễn Phú Trọng has said.
He was speaking at the annual Xuân Quê Hương (Homeland Spring) programme, a cultural and art festival held annually by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for overseas Vietnamese, in Hà Nội on Saturday night, where about 1,000 overseas Vietnamese (OV) gathered to celebrate the upcoming Tết (Lunar New Year).
According to the President, about 300-500 OV intellectuals have returned home in recent years to join activities in science-technology, education-training, build a start-up ecosystem, and are invited to work with universities, research institutes, hi-tech zones and economic establishments.
The Party and State highly valued consultations by OV scientists to quickly access technological advances from around the world, especially in the context of the ongoing fourth industrial revolution, he said.
A number of overseas Vietnamese businesspeople, associations and networks have actively brought Vietnamese goods to the world while attracting foreign enterprises and multinational corporations to Việt Nam. In 2018, remittances to Việt Nam neared US$16 billion, or a more than a 100-fold surge from 1993, which have so far been invested in around 3,000 manufacturing and trading projects.
Via cultural and religious exchanges, the OVs have popularised the images of Việt Nam abroad, contributing to improving its stature in the international arena.
The leader said the achievements in 2018 had once again reaffirmed the power of great national unity, fostering trust and evoking patriotism and national pride.
On the occasion, the Party chief beat the drum to launch the 2019 spring festival.
In his opening speech at the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh partly attributed the country’s achievements to valuable and practical contributions of more than 4.5 million Vietnamese abroad
He said each Vietnamese abroad served as an ambassador to foster ties between Việt Nam and their second homeland, step up global integration for sustainable national development.
The Deputy PM expressed his belief that the country would reap greater achievements and the Vietnamese community abroad will stay united to contribute more to the homeland in 2019.
Participants were treated to traditional and contemporary music performances by well-known artists at the event.
In the afternoon the same day, the Party leader and OVs performed a ritual of releasing carps into Hà Nội’s Hoàn Kiếm Lake to bid farewell to the Kitchen Gods.
Earlier, the OV delegation also paid tribute to President Hồ Chí Minh at his mausoleum, and laid a wreath at the martyrs’ memorial.
Meeting the Prime Minister
Also on Saturday, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc met with 100 overseas Vietnamese (OV) who came home to attend the Xuân Quê Hương 2019 programme.
The PM spoke of constructive ideas of the OVs and hoped they would make more contributions to the country’s development.
“The Party and State always pay attention to overseas Vietnamese and regard them as an indispensable part of the country,” he said.
The Government leader briefed the OVs on the country’s socio-economic achievements over the past years with the scale of the economy expanding to VNĐ5.5 quadrillion (about $240.5 billion) along with high economic growth, trade surplus, and improved business and investment environment.
The Party and State had spared no efforts to prevent and combat corruption and handle violations, he said.
Implementing the inclusive growth policy, the Party and the State had paid attention to social welfare policies so that no one would be left behind, he added.
The PM hoped more OV investors would invest in Việt Nam, especially when the country has joined 12 free trade agreements (FTAs), including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
The opportunities for investors were huge, not only in Việt Nam but also in markets with which Việt Nam had signed FTAs, he stressed.
Phúc appreciated the OV’s efforts to collect maps proving Việt Nam’s sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa (Paracel) and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.
He hoped the OVs would continue preserving the nation’s traditional culture and pay due attention to education and teaching of Vietnamese for their children.
He expected the OVs to further promote economic co-operation between Việt Nam and other countries, especially trade and investment activities, while calling on them to invest in Việt Nam and expand the distribution of Vietnamese goods in foreign markets. — VNS