Overseas Vietnamese play an important role in developing HCM City’s economy, but the city lacks the legal framework required to fully utilise their capabilities.
|Inside the Coil Centre factory SMC Tân Tạo of the SMC Trading Investment Joint Stock Company in HCM City. The City is making efforts to attract foreign investment from overseas Vietnamese. - Photo VNA/VNS Hoàng Hải|
“The role of overseas Vietnamese is not just sending foreign currency back to their families, but also having good relations with international politicians, multinational companies, investment funds and banks,” Dr Đinh Thanh Hương, an ethnic Vietnamese living in France and lecturer at University Paris 12 was quoted as saying on the Government’s website chinhphu.vn.
Therefore, the city should have a dedicated channel for overseas Vietnamese, and from that the city could source capital, technology and senior experts who would come back and contribute to its development, she said.
“For those who would like to return with their families, besides providing a favourable, transparent and supportive business environment, the city should also assist their family members with accommodation, schools and jobs.”
Dr Nguyễn Trí Hiếu, who has spent many years living in Việt Nam and working in the financial sector, was apprehensive about the gap between the Vietnamese and international legal frameworks.
“Việt Nam does not have a personal bankruptcy law while its closed foreign currency management system does not allow overseas Vietnamese to easily repatriate their profits or transfer money.”
Nguyễn Hồng Huệ, Vietnamese-Australian chairman of BankPay, said if Việt Nam had stringent policies to protect the environment, it would attract many “green”, stable, long-term investors.
“If managers loosen environmental protection norms for more FDI, I am afraid that current earnings will not be able to compensate future losses.”
At the macro level, Việt Nam should have a national environmental impact report for every five to 10 years of development with the participation of both domestic and foreign experts, he said.
At the micro level, relevant authorities must make use of independent, third-party assessors to assess environmental impact reports.
According to the city Department of Planning and Investment, of 1,110 enterprises funded by overseas Vietnamese, 80 per cent are based in HCM City.
According to The Economist and Intelligence Unit, if HCM City cannot achieve a breakthrough in its rate of economic growth, by 2025 it will rank a lowly 96th in Asia in terms of competitiveness.