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Viet kieu seek investment opportunities in Viet Nam   2010-02-11 - Viet Nam News

Many overseas Vietnamese with plans to return to their motherland for good are taking advantage of their visit to the country during the Tet holidays to scout for investment opportunities, according to tuoi tre newspaper.

Minh Doan, an IT engineer who has worked in the US for decades, said he was raising money to start a restaurant in Viet Nam.

He plans to study the culinary trends in the country and find a suitable location.

Most expatriates have a tendency to invest in the area where they were born, according to the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese.

Tran Van Quoc, a French-Vietnamese native of Ben Tre Province, said he was planning to start a coffee shop and restaurant chain. Work is going on his first outlet in Binh Thoi Commune in Binh Dai District, an 8,000sq.m, VND15 billion (US$813,000) restaurant.

Quoc said he also planned to invest in aquaculture and fruit farming.

Phan Tham, director of the committee, said the trend among the Vietnamese community abroad of returning to Viet Nam to do business had been increasing.

Last year, overseas Vietnamese entrepreneurs established more than 300 businesses.

But most complain that the administrative formalities in the country are too complicated and pose hurdles to doing business.

The State Bank of Viet Nam says inward remittances by overseas Vietnamese were worth $6.28 billion last year, 12.8 per cent down from 2008, with half the amount remitted to HCM City.

Besides supporting their families, they also remit money for investment, especially in services, tourism, real estate, and agricultural processing.

Fishing nets

Dinh Kim Nguyet, who runs a factory making fishing nets in Viet Nam but shuttles between the country and Canada, began a visit to the country last month for Tet Canh Dan (Lunar New Year of the Tiger).

"I'm an ordinary person but the [Government's] xuan que huong (Spring in the Homeland) programme gave me a chance to visit the Presidential Palace and be welcomed … by the President and other leaders. I felt that my return was warmly welcomed."

The number of overseas Vietnamese visiting the country this month for Tet is expected to be in excess of 500,000, according to an estimate by the committee .

Vietnamese living in Western Europe, the US and Australia were coming earlier this year and would stay longer than in previous years, the committee said, adding they were also bringing their friends to look for business opportunities.

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