Overseas Vietnamese come home for business opportunities

TN News

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Many overseas Vietnamese, known as Viet Kieu, say they are returning home this year not only to celebrate the country’s traditional New Year with their families, but also to seek business opportunities here.

Minh Doan, an information technology engineer in the US, said he would spend part of his Tet vacation in Vietnam scouting restaurant locations and surveying food and drink trends in Ho Chi Minh City.

Dinh Kim Nguyet, a Viet Kieu from Canada, also said she was trying to expand her family’s Viet Au Company, which produces fish nets, adding that her products had already been exported to France, Norway, and England.

“The largest objective of doing business in Vietnam isn’t to earn benefits for myself but to make contributions to my home country,” Nguyet said.

Tran Van Quoc, an overseas Vietnamese from France, said he would invest in seafood and fruit trees farms in his Mekong Delta hometown in Ben Tre Province. Quoc has already opened an 8,000-square-meter restaurant in Ben Tre.

Phan Tham, chairman of the HCMC Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, said that although no official survey had been conducted, he had observed that “many” Viet Kieu returning for Tet wanted to open businesses in Vietnam.

Tam said many Viet Kieu intellectuals, experts and highly-skilled workers had told him they wanted to work in Vietnam and had recently applied for new Vietnamese driver’s licenses or renewals.

According to Tham, more than 300 businesses were established by Viet Kieu in Vietnam last year, while 400 overseas Vietnamese experts and university graduates worked at Vietnam-based businesses.

Viet Kieu-related agencies also said overseas remittances were being invested in various services, tourism enterprises, real estate projects and agricultural processing firms.

The State Bank of Vietnam reported that remittances last year totaled over US$6.28 billion, a 12.8 percent decrease year-on-year.

But the HCMC Committee for Overseas Vietnamese estimated that around 300,000 Viet Kieu would arrive in Ho Chi Minh City for Tet via Tan Son Nhat International Airport by February 21 (the 15th day of Lunar new Year), a 10-15 percent increase from last year.

Nationwide, a total of some 500,000 overseas Vietnamese are expected to return home for Tet, the agency said.

Source: Tuoi Tre

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