HA NOI — A database on Vietnamese migrants will serve as a foundation to the Government in building a sustainable policy for migration management, according to a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Consular Department in Ha Noi yesterday.
Head of the department, Duong Chi Dung, said that the database, the first in Asia, revealed Government efforts in promoting safe and legal overseas migration whilst fighting illegal migration activities.
The relationship between migration and development was the focus at a conference attended by Vietnamese and international officials and researchers on migration held yesterday. The conference was aimed at developing better solutions for managing the cash flow and knowledge transfer of immigrants.
Professor Le Kim Sa, from the Viet Nam Science and Society Institute, said that the country received an average of US$2 billion in remittance from overseas Vietnamese, contributing to the stabilising trade balance, increasing foreign currency reserves and directly improving lives of many families. Sa quoted from a World Bank report which ranked Viet Nam sixteenth out of 20 countries receiving the most foreign currency from overseas immigrants.
Sa added that current policies restricted the effective use of cash sent from overseas which is still not regarded as a resource for development. She urged for policies to become more open in order to develop the economy.
Dovelyn Rannveig Agunias, from the International Organisation on Migration in Bangkok, suggested immigrant policies emphasise the role of overseas Vietnamese in transferring advanced knowledge or technology to Viet Nam. "They can be the ones who directly invest into major industrial sectors and a bridge to close the technology gap between Viet Nam and more developed countries," he said.
According to the Viet Nam Science and Society Institute, around 4 million Vietnamese have migrated or are living abroad, mostly in North America, Europe and Asia. — VNS