Bui Thi Minh Hoai
Secretary, Head of the Mass Agitation Commission,
Party Central Committee
The Vietnamese overseas community is an integral part of the Vietnamese nation.
Vietnamese overseas associations play an important role in disseminating the policies and lines of the Communist Party of Vietnam as well as the policies and laws of the Vietnamese State, thereby consolidating the national solidarity bloc and helping further enhance the Party’s external-relation activities in the cause of “doi moi” (renewal). They serve as an important bridge to boost the friendly relationships between Vietnam and other countries in the world.
The role of Vietnamese overseas community and associations
In recent years, thanks to the close and effective coordination between the Central Mass Agitation Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Vietnam Fatherland Front as well as socio-political organizations in directing and guiding Vietnamese overseas associations, these associations have seen positive development. They have strongly developed on wider scope of operation through the fruitful application of comprehensive measures to mobilize, rally and assist Vietnamese nationals in foreign countries, thus actively contributing to enhancing and promoting the national unity, heightening the national pride and sense of national dignity as well as attachment to the native land.
At present, the Vietnamese overseas community is composed of about 5.3 million people living and working in more than 130 countries and territories, over 80 percent of them in developed countries. The vast majority of them lead a stable and lawful life and fully integrate into their host societies. In the past five years, foreign remittances to Vietnam have totalled over USD 71 billion (recording an average increase of 6 percent/year), contributing to improving Vietnam’s payment balance and increasing the foreign exchange reserves. The building as well as organization and personnel work have witnessed positive improvement with higher working quality and better coordination between associations at different levels.
However, our mass agitation activities still reveal limitations due to vast areas of activities in foreign countries; different community characteristics; impacts of the political environment and diplomatic relations between Vietnam and host countries. The potential of overseas Vietnamese communities here and there has not been brought into full play.
The coordination in association building between overseas associations and related domestic organizations and agencies remains limited. A number of policies and regulations have not been promulgated and implemented in time; the attraction of resources from overseas Vietnamese has not been commensurate to their potential, especially in the fields of technology transfer, investment, commerce, etc. thus failing to meet the national requirements of socio-economic development and extensive as well as intensive international integration.
Solutions to renew and improve the operation of Vietnamese overseas associations
|Performing Ao dai, Vietnamese women’s traditional costume, in Prague capital of the Czech Republic in January 2022__Photo: Hong Ky/VNA|
Solutions to renew and improve the operation of Vietnamese overseas associations
In the coming years, the world situation will continue to witness complicated developments, thus exerting multi-sided impacts on Vietnam’s national security and development environment and creating both advantages and challenges. The Vietnamese overseas community will grow and their role, position and prestige will be heightened. Vietnam has embarked on a new development stage (2021-30) in the spirit of the resolutions of the 13th National Party Congress with higher requirements on development and international integration. Under such conditions, the work on overseas Vietnamese requires vigorous, comprehensive and profound development, focusing on the following solutions:
Firstly, to renew the education and mobilization of overseas Vietnamese
To thoroughly study and consistently realize the Party’s policy on consolidation of the national unity bloc in the new context. To truly consider the community of Vietnamese nationals in foreign countries as a part and parcel and an important resource of the Vietnamese community in the formulation and materialization of relevant policies; to develop relations with other countries in an intensive, stable and sustainable manner, creating favorable conditions for overseas Vietnamese to enhance their legal status and better integrate into their host countries.
To further raise the awareness of associations’ officials and members as well as overseas Vietnamese about the Party’s policies, points of view and lines and the State’s policies and laws on socio-economic development and defense-security maintenance in combination with the association building. At the same time, to intensify the propagation and education about the history, culture and traditions of the Vietnamese nation for overseas Vietnamese while raising the awareness of various agencies and units in the political system and people of all strata.
To pay more attention to younger generations of overseas Vietnamese with regular “turning to the root” activities in order to nurture their national pride and attachment to their native land. In order to preserve the Vietnamese language for young generations and the entire Vietnamese overseas community, the teaching and learning of Vietnamese language should be intensified through diverse and practical activities such as strengthening of the contingent of teachers, supply of textbooks and facilities, support in school building, organization of refresher courses on Vietnamese language teaching, etc. Vietnamese overseas associations at all levels should organize activities suitable to the psychology and demands of Vietnamese youths overseas, assisting them in clearly understanding their responsibility in study and turning to their native land.
Secondly, to raise the efficiency of community building and turning-to-the-homeland movements and campaigns; to care for and protect the legitimate rights and interests of association members as well as Vietnamese nationals overseas with the coordination and support of Vietnamese representative offices in host countries
Movements and campaigns should be carried out in diverse forms, at appropriate time and targeted at the right groups to effectively promote the great role of overseas Vietnamese and respond to their legitimate rights, interests and aspirations. Emulation movements and campaigns should be regularly reviewed in order to work out proper solutions to promote their efficiency to the utmost.
Associations of Vietnamese nationals overseas should care for and contribute to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of their members as well as overseas Vietnamese in general; should regularly organize cultural and artistic activities to satisfy their spiritual demands and support cultural centers of Vietnamese communities in host countries.
Thirdly, to diversify forms of uniting and rallying overseas Vietnamese; to bring into full play the pro-activeness and creativity of associations at all levels in mobilizing overseas Vietnamese in ways suitable to the characteristics of host countries
To diversify the organizational forms and contents, creating conditions for more compatriots to be involved in important political and social events of the country, arousing the traditional patriotism and national pride in them. Overseas Vietnamese’s comments on draft documents of the Party congresses; on major issues related to socio-economic development, territorial sovereignty and national policies and people’s welfare must be forwarded to high-ranking leaders and competent authorities. Prominent figures of overseas Vietnamese can join in the central and local committees of the Vietnam Fatherland Front. Such activities as assisting Vietnamese scientists and intellectuals in returning home to work, regularly organizing get-togethers between businesspeople at home and overseas in order to bring into play the intellectual and economic resources of Vietnamese nationals in foreign countries should be carried out more frequently.
Together with traditional modes of operation, associations at different levels should apply other effective measures to rally and unite people virtually through various movements, contests and talks by influential persons on issues interested by the community. On-line activities provide an environment favorable to uniting and rallying young people, entrepreneurs, intellectuals and others in the overseas Vietnamese community.
To enhance solidarity between associations in communities, helping people deeply integrate into their host countries and turn to the homeland. To well implement the Party’s and State’s policies on preferential treatment and commendation of people with meritorious services and prominent achievements in community building and with many contributions to the country with a view to promptly encouraging them and establishing the close connection between overseas Vietnamese and the homeland.
Fourthly, to renew and intensify the association building as well as association organization and personnel work.
To further strengthen the organizational structure and apparatus, heighten the capability of officials involved in overseas Vietnamese-related activities. To step by step standardize the contingent of association officials; to attach importance to training them in expertise and skills for carrying out activities of uniting and rallying overseas Vietnamese.
|A kiosk introducing Vietnam’s specialty litchi at the Vietnamese food festival organized in Paris in June 2021__Photo: Toan Tri/VNA|
Vietnam Fatherland Front and socio-political organizations must closely coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in strengthening traditional associations and encouraging new forms of rallying compatriots. To pilot the recognition of sub-associations of overseas Vietnamese as members of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the Union of Vietnamese Friendship Organizations, the Vietnam Women Union, Vietnam Youth Union, etc. for working out suitable and specific mechanisms to this effect.
To bring into full play the role of Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee members being overseas Vietnamese, prestigious and influential figures, businesspeople, experts, prominent intellectuals in the community rallying and unity in host countries. To promote the role of associations, prestigious persons and overseas Vietnamese in providing advice for the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee and socio-political organizations and in overseeing and improving the policies and contents related to overseas Vietnamese.
Fifthly, to renew and increase the effectiveness of coordination, guidance, examination and oversight of associations at all levels
To further renew and raise the effectiveness of, coordination and guidance for better materialization of inter-branch agreements and programs in the time to come. The coordination programs should focus on raising the quality and efficiency of the work of mobilizing, rallying and uniting overseas Vietnamese in the new context. Coordination work should ensure the unity of action in a strict, regular and continuous manner; at the same time, to actively create coordination mechanism, further clarifying the functions and tasks of Vietnam Fatherland Front at all levels and of relevant organizations with a view to creating the spirit of unity and combined strength in mobilizing, rallying and uniting overseas Vietnamese.-