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Viet Kieu home for Tet with investment on their minds   2010-02-09 - VietNamNet/TT

Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City is full of returning Vietnamese as the “Viet Kieu” return ready to celebrate Tet while also looking for business opportunities.


Hundreds of people were present at Tan Son Nhat airport on February 6 to receive Viet Kieu relatives from Taiwan. Ngoc Nga, a Viet Kieu who has been living in Taiwan for five years, burst out crying when she saw three relatives waiting for her at the airport.


“Everything here looks so familiar as if I never went away,” Nga said.


Dinh Kim Nguyet, who returned to Vietnam in January, said that the Tiger Lunar New Year will be one of the most significant year of her life.


According to the HCM City Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, it is expected that some 300,000 Viet Kieu will return to Vietnam to celebrate Tet through Tan Son Nhat airport, an increase of 10-15 percent over the previous year. Meanwhile, the number of returning Viet Kieu is expected to reach 500,000 nationwide.


Also according to the committee, Viet Kieu from Western Europe, the US and Australia are returning sooner than in previous years and also expect to stay longer. It is because they are not just returning to celebrate Tet,  they are also bringing friends and partners to Vietnam to seek business opportunities.


Minh Doan, an information technology engineer, who has been working in the US for ten years, said that he is arranging money to set up a restaurant in HCM City. He said that he will spend time this Tet to survey the tastes of Vietnamese consumers and seek suitable premises.


It seems that most of Viet Kieu tend to make investment in the localities where they were born.


Tran Van Quoc, a Viet Kieu in France, said he is planning to develop a café and restaurant chain in Ben Tre province, where he was born. The first project is now under execution, and once operational it will cover an area of 8,000 square meters and have an investment capital of 15 billion dong.


Quoc said that he also plans to develop projects on aquaculture and fruit farming here.


Nguyet said that she is trying to seek more laborers to expand a factory which produces fishing nets for her family-run company. Previously, products were only exported to France, but now they are exported to Denmark, Norway and the UK as well. “I have been traveling between Vietnam and Canada to run the business,” she said.


According to Phan Tham, chairman of the HCM City Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, more and more Viet Kieu are returning to make investment in Vietnam recently, although there are still no official figures.


Tham added that more and more Viet Kieu have come to the relevant agencies recently to ask for driving license extensions or to ask for certification of their Vietnamese origins. They are experts, intellectuals and high qualified workers who now want to work in Vietnam. In 2009, more than 400 experts and intellectuals with university degree and higher began working in enterprises in Vietnam. More than 300 enterprises were established that year in the name of Viet Kieu.

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