A Vietnamese-language class for children in Prague, the Czech Republic (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Overseas Vietnamese (OV) affairs have proved effective and contributed to the country’s socio-economic development.

The statement was made by Luong Thanh Nghi, deputy head of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, on the sidelines of the 30th Diplomatic Conference on August 14.

Nghi recalled the Overseas Vietnamese Conference held in Ho Chi Minh City in 2016, which attracted the participation of around 500 Vietnamese expats from around the world. Participating OVs made about 50 proposals related to different issues and serving the development of Ho Chi Minh City in particular and Vietnam in general.

To date, several proposals have been carried out, including Ho Chi Minh City’s smart city project, measures to address traffic congestion and develop high technology in agriculture.

The State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs has connected with young Vietnamese scientists and intellectuals from such organisations as the Association of Vietnamese Scientists and Experts, the Vietnam Initiative and the Vietnam Challenge in the US. Many of them have contributed ideas to Vietnam’s lawmaking process, especially in the fields of digital economy, sustainable development, clean energy, and block chain.

The committee also coordinated with Ho Chi Minh City to hold a start-up forum to connect Vietnamese young people inside and outside the country in San Francisco late 2017 and a similar event in the Vietnamese city in June 2018.

These forums have helped domestic offices and localities to build an effective start-up ecosystem that can attract young Vietnamese people living abroad, Nghi stated.

According to Nghi, more and more OVs are keen on coming back home to do business. They have so far poured nearly 4 billion USD into around 3,000 projects in 45 provinces and cities, which have produce huge economic profits, created jobs for locals and contributed to the nation’s socio-economic development.

The remittance inflows are on uptrend as well. Statistics from the World Bank showed that remittance to Vietnam was valued at 25 billion USD in 2016-2017, 60 percent of which was invested in production and business.

Nghi shared that one of the state committee’s main tasks is to attract more contributions from young OVs.

There are around 130,000 Vietnamese students learning abroad, who are expected to important contributors to the country’s development in future, he added.-VNA