Overseas Vietnamese skills come home
HA NOI — Overseas Vietnamese have strengthened their commitment to Viet Nam’s economic development with an agreement to help the transfer of skills.
TOKTEN Signing Ceremony (Mr Edouard Wattez, Resident Representative UNDP, Hanoi – right; Mr Nguyen Chien Thang, Assistant to Minister, Vice-Chairman of COV – left)
Last Thursday, the Committee for Overseas Vietnamese (CoV) signed an agreement to co-operate with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s successful Transfer of Knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals (TOKTEN) programme.
The TOKTEN programme encourages overseas Vietnamese to contribute to Viet Nam’s socio-economic development.
Of the 2.7 million overseas Vietnamese, about 300,000 hold university degrees and work for top-level scientific research and training agencies, multinational companies, or major international organisations.
Assessing the potential of Viet Nam’s “intellectual capital”, deputy foreign minister and chairman of CoV, Nguyen Dinh Bin said the country has a large, precious treasure of brain power.
The agreement aims to establish a database of TOKTEN experts, and a website to promote it. The project is expected to cost almost US$40,000.
Annually, about 200 overseas Vietnamese experts are invited back to the country to work for domestic agencies.
When TOKTEN was launched by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment and the UNDP in 1989, 40 overseas Vietnamese experts were invited to work for scientific research institutes and universities.
TOKTEN experts have also worked as advisors in business management and training, marketing, finance, accounting and information technology. — VNS
Fatherland Front concerned about interests of overseas Vietnamese
A regulation on mobilising overseas Vietnamese and relatives to contribute to the national process of industrialisation and modernisation was recently signed between the Viet Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee (VNFCC) and the Committee for Overseas Vietnamese (COV). Dai Doan Ket (Great Unity) newspaper talked with permanent VNFCC member, Nguyen Tien Vo about the steps it is taking.
Could you tell us a little about the regulation?
The 75th clause of the country’s 1992 Constitution outlined that the State protects the legitimate interests of the overseas Vietnamese. It creates favourable conditions to help them maintain close relations with their families and their native land, contributing to building the country.
Clauses 5 and 6 of the VNFCC law in 1999, and Government Decree 37CP’s Clause 2 in 1997 touched upon the role of the VNFCC in protecting the interests of the overseas Vietnamese community.
Recently, the VNFCC outlined a project on strengthening the roles of overseas Vietnamese and their families in the process of industrialisation and modernisation. To be successful, the VNFCC needs to boost co-operation with relevant sectors.
However, co-operation between the two sides is not yet regular, so it’s necessary to have new regulations between the two sides to gain better effectiveness and regularity.
How has the VNFCC been implementing its duty of protecting legitimate and legal interests of overseas Vietnamese?
The VNFCC helps the State build regulations and policies for overseas Vietnamese that correspond with the 1998 Nationality Law and the VNFCC Law in 1999.
The VNFCC has contributed to helping overcome discriminatory treatment of overseas Vietnamese.
When overseas Vietnamese return for Tet holiday, they buy plane tickets at local prices and stay in hotels at local rates.
They also enjoy preferential tax rates when doing business in the country.
The VNFCC has also co-operated with local authorities to establish a association of relatives of overseas Vietnamese, with members nation-wide.
The association connects Vietnamese inside and outside the country. They can exchange information on socio-economic development, State guidance, policy and law.
The Government receives ideas from the VNFCC to help overseas Vietnamese invest in production, business, science and education in the country.
Will the relatives association be a member of VNFCC?
Presently, the VNFCC and COV have agreed to propose that the State establish a central-level association of relatives of overseas Vietnamese and those in localities.The association is a social organisation established to gather a wide number of overseas Vietnamese serving for the development of the country. — VNS
Following the proposal from the Committee for Overseas Vietnamese (COV), the Minister of Foreign Affairs has issued Decision 707 QD-BNG to establish a board to mobilise the establishment of the Overseas Vietnamese Connection Association. Recently, the board held an opening ceremony at the COV. Professor Nguyen Van Dao was appointed head of the board, with eleven members including historian Duong Trung Quoc, Professor Nguyen Lan Dung, Professor Nguyen Lan Trung, film director Dang Nhat Minh and artist Chu Thuy Quynh.
At the opening ceremony, permanent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Dinh Bin said that the establishment of the Overseas Vietnamese Connection Association had an important significance. It would be present for nearly three million overseas Vietnamese. The association will be a member of the VNFCC.