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Capital from Viet Kieu poised to flow to Vietnam   2009-08-26 - VietNamNet/Doanh nhan

The overseas Vietnamese community has plenty of capital that entrepreneurs are ready to invest in Vietnam, provided there’s a stable and safe framework for such activity, reports Doanh Nhan (Businessman) Magazine.


Vincom, a successful investment project

Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese) have already financed 3,000 projects in Vietnam, with a total capital investment of nearly $2 billion, according to the newly established Overseas Vietnamese Entrepreneurs’ Association (OVEA). Meanwhile, their remittances to Vietnam have been increasing steadily, and reached $7 billion in 2008 despite the global economic recession.


Money ready


A survey of Viet Kieu investment capability conducted during the founding convention of the OVEA early this month showed that the 245 participants had some $41 million they are prepared to put into investment projects in Vietnam.  Ninety-five percent of the participants said that they wished to make investment in real estate projects.  The rest want to undertake trade and tourism projects.


Meyer Bui Thi Thu Minh, Deputy Chairwoman of the ‘Haiphong Association’ in Germany, said that she, like many Germans of Vietnamese origin, wish to contribute to Vietnam’s emergence as a prosperous country. She herself has discussed the building of a rest-home in Hai Phong City with officials there. Minh said she also intends to make a tourism investment project and hopes she will receive support from the city authorities.


Pham Hoang Kinh talked about his company’s plans to invest in some real estate projects in Rach Gia, a city on the Gulf of Thailand.  Kinh is also trying to develop seafood services (importing and distributing materials) and intends to run a project on treating solid waste in his native province, Ca Mau.


Bui Thang Long, a Viet Kieu from Japan, has invested in Vietnam for two years and he is interested in the hotel and restaurant sector. He judges that the Vietnamese people’s improving living standards have helped develop tourism and promise attractive profits for hotel and restaurant owners.


Still doubtful


As a businessman, Kinh appreciates investment opportunities in Vietnam. However, like many other Viet Kieu, he still worries about the investment policies applied specifically to members of the overseas Vietnamese community.


“Viet Kieu are still reluctant to make investment because they think Vietnam’s policies on investment attraction are always subject to change,” Kinh said. “Such uncertainties increase business risks.”


A Vietnamese-Canadian, resort executive Phung Kim Vy, noted that besides money, Viet Kieu also have ‘big sums of other sorts of capital’: intelligence, experience, corporate governance skills and networking skills. He thinks it obvious that that the Government should design policies to attract investments from Viet Kieu.


Pham Minh Nam, a Vietnamese resident of the UK, argued for clearer incentives for Viet Kieu investors, businessmen who have learned to compete successfully in difficult environments like Korea or Singapore.  Nam noted that coming from Vietnam and being able to speak Vietnamese, the Viet Kieu have a big advantage no other foreign investor can have.


“What we are expecting is a more transparent and open policies on investment encouragement,” Nam said.


Tran Long, a newly-elected Deputy Chairman of OVEA, said that the association will have an website through which necessary information about investment projects and Government policies can reach Viet Kieu businessmen all over the world.


Long added that a ‘Vietnamese Businessmens’ Investment Company’ will be established as a vehicle for overseas Vietnamese businessmen to work together and mobilize capital.



According to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Thanh Son, four million Viet Kieu live in 101 foreign countries and territories.  Of that group, 1.5 million are Vietnamese-Americans.


The worldwide income of the Viet Kieu communities is estimated at $50-60 billion.  More than one-half of this sum is earned by Viet Kieu living in the US.

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