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Overseas Vietnamese businesses key to national socio-economic development

HCM City will continue to strengthen connections between overseas Vietnamese business groups and associations, especially those in the EU, and domestic enterprises in an effort to promote trade and investment, speakers said Tuesday at a meeting in the city.

Lê Thanh Liêm, vice chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said that HCM City, with a population of more than 10 million and more than 350,000 enterprises, has great potential for investment.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, overseas remittances sent to HCM City reached US$4 billion in the first nine months of the year, up 2 per cent year-on-year. The number is expected to reach $5.5 billion by the end of the year, up 0.82 per cent year-on-year.

Việt Nam is the EU’s 17th largest trading partner and the second-largest in Southeast Asia, while the EU is one of Việt Nam’s major markets, he noted.

Two-way turnover reached nearly $56.5 billion last year, with Vietnamese exports to the trading bloc reaching $41.5 billion, he noted.

The European Union-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement, which took effect on August 1, is expected to open new doors and create growth momentum for Việt Nam’s economy and exporters, he said.

In 2019, the city’s exports to the EU reached more than $5 billion (up 5.4 per cent year-on-year), according to Liêm.

Great contribution

Ambassador Lương Thanh Nghị, vice chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese (under Ministry of Foreign Affairs), said that more than 5.3 million Vietnamese were living in 130 countries and territories. The overseas Vietnamese business community includes at least 6,000 members connected to Việt Nam via technology and business fields.

He spoke highly of the significant contributions made by overseas Vietnamese businesses to the country’s socio-economic development, especially during the hard times of the pandemic.

“Overseas Vietnamese businesses are key to national socio-economic development,” he said. “Remittances to Việt Nam have reached about $170 billion from 1990 to now.”

Overseas Vietnamese have invested in 3,000 projects with total registered capital of more than $4 billion, creating many jobs, according to Nghị.

Some 500,000 – 600,000 overseas Vietnamese professionals are now working and studying in developed countries, which is huge resource for the country. Every year, there are about 500 overseas Vietnamese experts who return to Việt Nam for investment in many fields, he said.

According to Nghị, about one-fifth of the 5.3 million overseas Vietnamese living in Europe. But the market share of Vietnamese goods in the EU is still modest compared to the potential.

In recent years, many overseas Vietnamese have returned to Việt Nam to start businesses as they see great potential and good economic growth in the country.

“Many of them have been very successful in their careers in other countries and have now invested in businesses in Việt Nam,” Nghi said.

“In addition to financial contributions through remittance resources, many overseas Vietnamese experts have made important contributions to training a high-quality workforce, and transferring scientific technologies to Việt Nam.”

He encouraged young overseas Vietnamese who have re-settled in Việt Nam to build a network in the country to better exploit the potential of the overseas Vietnamese community for further socio-economic development.

Speaking at the event, Jean-Jacques Bouflet, vice President of the European Business Association in Vietnam (EuroCham), said to bring into full play the potential of EVFTA, Việt Nam enterprises should understand the EU market and business standards, and improve product quality, traceability and reliability.

The EU is a market with high standards, so businesses must improve to meet technology, governance and social responsibility requirements, he said.

At the meeting, three MoUs were signed between Việt Nam and South Korea. They included one between the Vietnam-Korea Businessmen and Investment Association (VKBIA) and MEGAZONE CLOUD Group; another between VKBIA and SHINHAN BANK; and one between VKBIA and MHGroup and Hoàng Quân Group. — VNS

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