Several overseas Vietnamese and organisations were praised for their significant contributions to the country’s development at the annual year-end gathering organised for overseas Vietnamese in HCM City on Jan. 17.

Nearly 1,000 overseas Vietnamese who just came back to Vietnam to celebrate Tet attended the event.

HCM City leaders awarded Labour Orders to two overseas Vietnamese and a company in HCM City.

Municipal Party Committee Secretary Le Thanh Hai and Chairman of the city’s People’s Committee Le Hoang Quan, on behalf of the State and Government leaders awarded merit certificates to outstanding people and organisations.

Jonathan Hanh Nguyen, chairman and general director of Imex Pan-Pacific Group, was awarded the Labour Order – second class, and Vietnamese American David Trung Duong, General Director of the Vietnam Solid Waste Treatment Limited Company, awarded the Labour Order – third class.

Duong’s company was also awarded the Labour Order – third class for its achievements in waste treatment technologies which contribute to environmental protection in the city.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed a merit certificate for Huynh Tri Chanh, a Vietnamese living in Japan, for his efforts in gathering overseas Vietnamese in a foreign country.

Besides praises from the State leader and Prime Minister, the city awarded merit certificates to eight other Overseas Vietnamese who have investments in HCM City and four organisations which operate locally.

Addressing the annual meeting attended by people from 21 countries and territories, Quan said that last year, the city achieved dramatic economic development and overseas Vietnamese contributed to the achievement.

“I appreciate the valuable contributions from the Vietnamese community living abroad during the past years,” Quan said.

He added that last year’s remittances flowing into the city reached 5.2 billion USD, up by 25 percent compared with 2010. In addition to investing in the country, thousands of overseas Vietnamese living around the globe took part in helping victims of local natural disasters.

“For years, overseas Vietnamese have played the role of a bridge of culture, economy and trade linking Vietnam with other countries in the world. The Party and State consider that overseas Vietnamese are an inseparable part of the Vietnamese community,” Quan said.

Jonathan Hanh Nguyen, who has invested 285 million USD in more than 20 projects and created jobs for more than 16,000, called on other overseas Vietnamese holding a close relationship with the leaders of countries or large global corporations to act as diplomats for social and economic development.

Last year, the country received more than 9 billion USD in remittances from the overseas Vietnamese community. The figure has continually increased year after year./.