Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Association for Liaison with Overseas Vietnamese Nguyễn Phú Bình talks to VnEconomy online newspaper about measures to draw more investment from overseas Vietnamese
The remittance to Việt Nam has been high over the past few years. Why do you think this is?
The remittance to Việt Nam ranges between US$17-18 billion a year, according to various international organisations and management agencies in Việt Nam. With this figure, Việt Nam is the third largest remittance recipient in the East Asia and Pacific region and eighth in the world.
This volume of remittances is also equivalent to the amount of foreign direct investment capital.
With the economy facing many difficulties during the two years of the pandemic, this capital has special meaning for economic recovery and can be immediately used for social and economic activities such as production and business.
However, remittances sent to Việt Nam are scattered, making it hard to assess the capital sources’ effectiveness. There are amounts of remittance used to support households while others are used for investment or real estate.
At present, overseas Vietnamese want to invest in the country. We need policies and measures to draw remittance effectively to contribute to the development of the whole economy. It is necessary to support overseas Vietnamese to tackle difficulties and obstacles in investment and business, such as legal support and policy consultancy.
What obstacles do overseas Vietnamese face when investing in Việt Nam?
The difficulties and obstacles facing overseas Vietnamese are various, partly because our administrative system has yet to be completed. Also, legal regulations are often slower in comparison with reality so many issues are “stuck” for many months, even many years, without being resolved.
However, these difficulties will be quickly handled by authorities of localities, ministries and sectors.
As a result, the Investment Support Forum for overseas Vietnamese (Invesfov) was officially launched on January 14 for the overseas Vietnamese community both home and abroad to invest in Việt Nam.
The forum aims to support investment and trade activities, and cooperation on existing projects; create an environment for exchanging information, negotiating, and cooperating among investors, contribute to investment models and projects; and detect and resolve problems.
What will the forum focus on?
During the building of the forum, we received great support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Vietnam Fatherland Front and other ministries and agencies.
We strongly believe that the forum will help connect the Vietnamese community abroad with potential projects as well as with information about related policies and laws.
However, the forum has just made its debut so we plan to work gradually, step by step in combination with adjustments and amendments to fall in line with the demands of overseas Vietnamese and the legal system of Việt Nam.
Initially, we will launch potential projects in 2022 to create careful and firm steps. Information about projects calling for investment will be published on the forum’s website for overseas Vietnamese to study.
At present, many localities want to call for investment, as remittances are considered a “fresh and real” source of capital that can be immediately used for economic activities while other sources of capital often need time to complete disbursement.
We will connect the forum with programmes of State agencies, localities and domestic investment projects to attract and create conditions for start-ups to join to help economic development and innovation in Việt Nam.
In 2023, we will complete the forum at a higher level, developing it into a centre collecting and handling information for domestic and foreign investors to cooperate.
At present, there are many channels to connect investment with overseas Vietnamese. How will the forum help connect the Vietnamese community abroad with projects, localities and ministries?
We have a website and software to manage and connect between agencies, organisations, businesses and overseas Vietnamese. There are many ways to welcome and connect customers overseas with people in the homeland. We will have mechanisms to gather small sources of capital from the Vietnamese community abroad to reasonably invest in projects or bonds.
Also, we have a connection with legal agencies to help consult, connect and tackle difficulties, obstacles or petitions for overseas Vietnamese when investing in Việt Nam.
I want to stress that many channels are supporting overseas Vietnamese to invest in Việt Nam but our channel is official with the support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vietnamese embassies abroad and associations of the Vietnamese community abroad.
This is a network of diversified and useful information for forming opportunities to connect investment and business activities. The point is how it will be tapped to turn investment and business opportunities into reality. — VNS