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Cam Anh - Nathan 22:42, 2024/07/06
The Vietnamese diaspora is a valuable resource for Vietnam. They contribute knowledge, technology, investment, and business connections to their home country. The Vietnamese government is actively trying to attract overseas Vietnamese back to Vietnam.

Overseas Vietnamese - an inseparable part of the nation - have contributed greatly to Vietnam's development. Many prominent expatriates have dedicated themselves to the betterment of the country. Numerous overseas Vietnamese have worked to raise Vietnam's values internationally so that it can compete with other nations in science, technology, business, and culture and ensure that Vietnamese perspectives are valued in international forums and Vietnamese innovations are recognized for global contributions.

They either invest in the country or send remittances totaling tens of billions of dollars annually for national economic development. In particular, many of them have served as intermediaries for cooperation between Vietnam and other countries while fostering understanding of the country among friends and Vietnamese living abroad.

The Hanoi Times is honored to introduce you to outstanding individuals whose incredible journeys are building a brighter future for Vietnam. They are diplomats who have helped the world better understand Vietnam's culture, geography, and people; a scientist who is transforming the printing industry; an investor in green agriculture in Vietnam; and a pioneering entrepreneur in applied chemistry and philanthropy.

There is also a world-class cybersecurity specialist who, as a black hat hacker, was imprisoned in U.S. federal court for stealing and trading personal information. Since returning to the country after seven years behind bars, he has dedicated himself to protecting people from online scams and motivating young people with his story and life lessons.

Meanwhile, others devote their boundless energy to advancing Vietnamese culture and perseverance to lay the groundwork for stronger international ties. Their initiatives have enhanced the cultural ties and sense of identity of Vietnamese students, as well as had an impact on host countries.

 

"Now that I have spent some time in Vietnam, I still have to rely on my mobile phone to navigate my childhood neighbourhood. It has changed dramatically," said Dao Lan Huong, an overseas Vietnamese from Angola, on her first return to Vietnam after 32 years.

Huong, like many other overseas Vietnamese, not only promotes the image of their homeland worldwide but also gives back to the country in various ways. 

 

It is just one powerful example of how the overseas community contributes to the homeland, among many others.

According to Hang, of the six million Vietnamese people abroad, 80% live in developed countries, and about 10% - 600.000 people are highly educated. 

From 2.7 million people in 2003, the community is growing rapidly and becoming a valuable resource that would make a great contribution to the development of its home country, Vietnam, the Deputy Foreign Minister stressed.

 

First and foremost, it is the resource of knowledge, science and technology, and highly skilled human resources.

Among the 600,000 people mentioned above, many scientists are building a name for themselves in new and high-tech fields that are in high demand in Vietnam. These include information technology, electronics, telecommunications, machine manufacturing, cybernetics, and biotechnology science, space technology, new materials, nanotechnology, energy, economic management, finance and banking.

 

Besides, remittances from overseas Vietnamese entrepreneurs have become increasingly prominent over the past 20 years, shifting from consumption and family support to vast domestic investment deals.

Specifically, since 2020, overseas remittances to Vietnam have surpassed the flow of disbursed FDI capital and ODA foreign aid capital

 

As of November 2023, overseas Vietnamese from 32 countries and territories have invested in 421 projects in 42 of 63 provinces and cities in Vietnam, with a total registered capital of 1.72 billion USD. In addition, thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises of expatriate Vietnamese have participated in investing and operating in Vietnam in all areas of social life.

Hang also noted that Vietnamese businessmen abroad have contributed not only to their homeland but also to the country where they live.

In addition to deepening its integration, the community is also progressively reaffirming its place, demonstrating a strong commitment to the host nation while fostering friendship, advancing trade cooperation, and nurturing positive perceptions of Vietnam, the Vietnamese people and their culture.

Vietnam is opening up to important and emerging fields worldwide, which has encouraged and driven expatriate Vietnamese to look more and more to their home country, says Nguyen Duy Lan, co-founder of cybersecurity startup Veramine, currently based in Seattle, US.

With a nine-year history as a subcontractor to Microsoft Corporation, Lan said that besides major clients such as the United States Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Air Force, his company works with about 20 agencies and banks in Vietnam, providing free personnel training products, information on cyber-attacks, and more.

“I’m so motivated when Vietnam has recently paid a lot of attention to cybersecurity and aspires to become a power in this field”, Lan said with enthusiasm.

 

Meanwhile, Thuy Anh, a US-based science expert, "confessed" that her decision to return to Vietnam in 2022 was influenced by a global Vietnamese youth intellectual forum in 2018.

"After that event, my connection to my homeland grew stronger with many cooperation projects with Vietnamese organizations," she said, noting that a wave of young scientists and young people returned to Vietnam to start businesses.

She appreciated the Vietnamese government’s efforts to bring in resources from outside the country. “I hope that the government will organize more such programs to connect young global scientists to join hands to make Vietnam more developed”, Thuy Anh said.

A recent survey by recruitment consultancy Robert Walters shows that 71% of expatriate Vietnamese plan to return t home to live and work within the next five years.

Notably, this rate is significantly higher than the three other countries in Southeast Asia that were surveyed, such as Indonesia (60%), the Philippines (62%), and Singapore (58%).

Some 60% of people surveyed by Robert Walters - a firm founded in 1985 in the UK and operating in 27 countries - said the economic situation would influence their decision to return to Vietnam or not. The emotional, social and cultural ties to Vietnam are also driving many expatriate Vietnamese to return home.

Lan stated that the trend of overseas Vietnamese working with or returning to Vietnam is growing, with the volume of remittances increasing every year. The country's further integration into the global economy also creates many good opportunities for overseas Vietnamese, said Veramine’s co-founder.

“I look forward to further expanding cooperation by working with Vietnamese software integration companies to develop and provide services and products to countries in the region”, he told The Hanoi Times.

 

Speaking to The Hanoi Times, Huong, who lives in Angola, also said that the government's active implementation of Resolution 36 over the past two decades has generated enthusiasm among Vietnamese expatriates.

 

Resolution 36 of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam paves the way for the implementation of work on Vietnamese people abroad, with special emphasis on their rights and interests.

The policy has focused on consultation, securing legal rights and protection for overseas Vietnamese, and preserving the Vietnamese language and national cultural identity, among others.

In addition to continuing the policy, Deputy Foreign Minister Le Thi Thu Hang noted that the intellectual resources of overseas Vietnamese are extremely large and there is still room to tap them further.

“The Vietnamese intellectual force abroad accounts for about 10% of the total number of Vietnamese people abroad and the vast majority are working in advanced and developed countries”, she informed.

To harness these resources, Vietnam needs to have appropriate attraction policies such as ensuring the rights and interests of intellectual experts when they return to Vietnam to work or contribute remotely, as well as appropriate remuneration and a dynamic and effective work environment, Hang suggested.

 

It’s also the government's policy to use overseas human resources in key fields that Vietnam craves. 

With Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh calling for 30,000 to 50,000 engineers and 100 experts to be trained in digital transformation and semiconductor chip production, the overseas Vietnamese community is seen as a great source of intelligence, especially in the fields of innovation and technology transfer.

 

Vietnamese experts are making their mark in almost all the key industries and fields, high-tech projects from electronics, biology, new materials, new energy, information technology to aviation, space and oceans in the world, said Ambassador Ngo Huong Nam, who has thirty years of diplomatic experience.

"There are about 10,000 Vietnamese working in Silicon Valley, California (USA), including many Vietnamese-owned companies in the information technology sector," Nam stated.

Notably, the Vietnam Innovation Network (VIN) has so far gathered more than 1,500 highly qualified experts and intellectuals who are overseas Vietnamese in 20 countries and territories and has had eight member networks in Europe, Germany, Japan, Australia, Korea, Taiwan (China) and America.

 

 

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