Overseas Vietnamese – huge resources fo0rnational development

A strong contingent of 600,000 Vietnamese intellectuals abroad, mostly in developed countries, have been seen as huge resources for Vietnam’s development, particularly in innovation and technology transfer, an official has said.

In the current digital environment, it is unnecessary for the overseas Vietnamese intellectuals and scientists to return home as they still can effectively contribute to the homeland from abroad, according to Luong Thanh Nghi, Vice Chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Over the past years, OVs have made practical and effective contributions to the cause of national construction and defence, especially in terms of finance and knowledge, he said, adding that many of them have run businesses at home, with a total of 360 projects valued at US$1.6 billion as of late 2020.

Vietnam is among the top 10 remittance recipients in the world, and the World Bank (WB) forecast that the remittance inflow to the country would reach US$18.06 billion this year, equivalent to 5% of the national GDP.

Overseas Vietnamese intellectuals, experts and scientists have regularly returned home and coordinated with domestic research institutes, universities, ministries and localities to offer consultancy and contributions to national scientific-technological development, Nghi said.

He also cited the formation of networks and clubs of Vietnamese intellectuals abroad that have maintained close links with the homeland, such as the France-based Association of Vietnamese Scientists and Experts (AVSE Global), among others in the US, Japan, the Netherlands, Finland, Germany and Poland.

In early December, the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs in coordination with the Ministry of Science and Technology debuted the Network of Overseas Intellectual Associations Supporting Technological Innovation and Commercialisation that gathers presidents of forums of overseas Vietnamese intellectuals.

Given complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee has also made efforts to bring together OVs online to seek solutions to the country’s urgent issues this year.

Through virtual workshops, overseas Vietnamese experts, including those in the US, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Singapore, have contributed initiatives to help the country respond to the pandemic, boost digital transformation and recover the national economy, according to the official.