In his opening speech, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh partly attributed the country’s achievements to valuable and practical contributions of more than 4.5 million Vietnamese abroad.

He said each Vietnamese abroad serves as an ambassador to foster ties between Vietnam and his/her second homeland, step up global integration for sustainable national development.

Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong at the event

The Deputy PM expressed his belief that the country will reap greater achievements and the Vietnamese community abroad will stay united to contribute more to the homeland in 2019.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee and President Nguyen Phu Trong said the overseas Vietnamese community is an inseparable part of the nation.

According to him, about 300-500 OV intellectuals have returned home in recent years to join activities in science-technology, education-training, build a start-up ecosystem, and are invited to work with universities, research institutes, hi-tech zones and economic establishments.

The Party and State highly value consultations by OV scientists to quickly access technological advances in the world, especially amid the ongoing fourth industrial revolution, he said.

A number of overseas Vietnamese businesspeople, associations and networks have actively brought Vietnamese goods to the world while attracting foreign enterprises and multinational corporations to Vietnam. In 2018, remittances to Vietnam neared USD 16 billion, or a more than 100-fold surge from 1993, which have so far been invested in around 3,000 manufacturing and trading projects.

Via cultural and religious exchanges, the OVs have popularized the images of Vietnam abroad, contributing to improving its stature on international arena.

The leader said the 2018 achievements have once again reaffirmed the power of great national unity, fostering trust and evoking patriotism and national pride.

On the occasion, the Party chief beat the drum to launch the 2019 spring festival.

Participants were treated to traditional and contemporary music performances performed by well-known artists at the event.

In the afternoon the same day, the Party leader and OVs performed a ritual of releasing carps into Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem Lake to bid farewell to the Kitchen Gods.

Earlier, the OV delegation also paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum, and laid a wreath at martyrs’ memorial.

Source: VNA