A law that gives overseas Vietnamese benefits enjoyed by Vietnamese citizens has taken too much time to be implemented, and the latter are unable to invest much in the country as a result, officials said at a Friday conference.
The amended Nationality Law took effectIn July 2009, allowing overseas Vietnamese who already have foreign nationality to register to hold Vietnamese nationality as well, so they can enjoy benefits that domestic residents have in Vietnam.
But instructions to implement the law have not been issued, officials said at the conference held in Hanoi to review six years of the implementation of the Party Politburo's resolution on policies relating to Viet Kieu (Overseas Vietnamese).
Luong Bach Van, chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City Association for Liaison with Overseas Vietnamese, said many oversease Vietnamese people queued up at Vietnam's embassies all over the world on July 2 and 3, 2009 to register their nationality according to the amended law.
"But all of them were told to wait"¦ Many have been discouraged," Van said.
Nguyen Thanh Son, deputy head of Vietnam's Foreign Ministry and chairman of the Government Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, said at the conference that more than four million Vietnamese are living overseas.
He said 400,000 of these are intellectuals and many of them are working at leading research centers worldwide.
Van also said the delay in implementing the law prevents overseas Vietnamese from registering to get a business license as a local investor.
Her deputy, Pham Khac Lam, said that regulating the affairs of overseas Vietnamese in the country was important. "But it's more important to make them come back and invest in the country."
Vuong Thua Phong, deputy head of the Party Central Committee's Foreign Affairs Commission, said highly-educated overseas Vietnamese can help protect Vietnam's sovereighty, especially in the East Sea area.