Overseas Vietnamese: Will the “grey matter” ever return home?

TGVN. To many overseas Vietnamese, heading towards the Homeland is much more important than deciding on whether to stay abroad or to return to Viet Nam.
Kiều bào đóng góp ý kiến sau 5 năm thực hiện Chỉ thị 45 về công tác người Việt ở nước ngoài. (Ảnh: Tuấn Anh)
The Party and the State paid special attention to attract and welcome overseas Vietnamese' contribution to the Homeland. (Photo: Tuấn Anh)

In an interview with The World & Vietnam Report, Sandy Hoa Dang, an outstanding overseas Vietnamese in the US shared that during her time living in the US, she has met many long-time fellow expatriates who ponder upon finding ways to contribute to their Homeland. Nevertheless, she believed that were the Vietnamese government to create favorable opportunities, the “grey matter” source would soon return to the country.

Focusing on “brain drain” stories and concerns sparking off many debates within the country, The World & Vietnam Reports would like to introduce some opinions from the talented and well-known overseas Vietnamese around the world.

Sometimes, it is better to contribute from abroad…

Professor Ngo Thanh Nhan, USA

I was beyond delighted when the National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED) was established. Not only is this a way to attract talents, but it can also contribute to developing science in Vietnam.

However, NAFOSTED needs to attract more Vietnamese living abroad to return home and collaborate domestically.

For me, I could have returned to live and work in Viet Nam but my friends advised me that what I do in the US, Vietnam-related, can contribute directly to the country as well. To be more specific, I have been studying standardized Vietnamese for computer use, means that I am helping my Homeland. I also got an invitation from the US Embassy in Ha Noi to discuss the wonderful collection of poems “Spring Essence: The poetry of Ho Xuan Huong” - the poems collection I had previously translated in the Nom language. Upon researching to digitize Vietnamese folk music, I have once received the warmest assistance from the Permanent Representative Delegation of Viet Nam to the United Nations...

Thanks to such assistance, we have brought out research on Vietnamese folk music to international conferences in the US. I appreciate and deem it visionary.

Overseas Vietnamese: Will the “grey matter” ever return home?
Professor Ngo Thanh Nhan. (Photo in courtesy of the Owner)

Coming back home: Why not?

Businessman Vo Thanh Dang, Singapore

During my time studying in Australia and New Zealand, I have seen numerous opportunities for myself abroad. After gaining my Singaporean citizenship in 2007, I did not imagine going back to Viet Nam to run a business.

However, due to the positive transformation after Viet Nam participated in the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2006, my thoughts have shifted.

I consider this as an opportunity for the people who are living abroad to return to Viet Nam and develop their career in their Homeland.

At the moment, Viet Nam has increasingly and deeply integrated with the world. The Vietnamese government has also carried out many strict policies to assist overseas Vietnamese like us. Especially, the State Committee on Overseas Vietnamese Affairs has always been a bridge that helped us organizing special events, as well as connecting us to the people of the same mindsets.

For young overseas Vietnamese, they have been granted many favourable conditions and have always been welcomed, encouraged to start a business in their motherland.

We hope that there will be more channels to update the latest official information, the rightful and timely policies and more forums for expatriates to easily share and connect.

It is essential for expatriates to have such channels, in order to perceive and make their fair comparisons and selections. Should we further succeed in operating communication tasks and promoting Viet Nam’s positive image to the world, the overseas Vietnamese can have more faith, pride and motivation to return to their Homeland to build a career and contribute to developing the country.

Business Vo Thanh Dang. (Photo in courtesy of the Owner)

Viet Nam is always in my heart

Guitarist Le Thu, Bahrain

Being able to live and feel many different cultures is the most “profitable” experience of my life. However, Viet Nam always presents wherever I go.

What makes me most proud of is when I got to perform Vietnamese melodies such as “Beo dat may troi”, “Nguoi oi nguoi o dung ve” in foreign countries…to introduce Vietnamese fold music to international friends and to educate foreign students about Vietnamese folk music.

Especially, I have always chosen Vietnamese music to perform and compete in international contests, because Viet Nam is where my heart belongs, where I wish to perform and teach music or to open a music school in the future.

Guitarist Le Thu. (Photo in courtesy of the Owner)

Dedicating regardless of where you live

PhD. Ngo Thi Minh Thuy, USA

My dream is to have my own private laboratory that can be operated in Viet Nam and abroad.

I know some highly successful Vietnamese predecessors and peers abroad, who have made a lot of contributions to Vietnam.

For example, businessmen can open their company’s branch in Viet Nam, while engineers and professors can open up pipelines of wisdom.

In my opinion, regardless of locations, you can always contribute to your Homeland in your own ways.

Overseas Vietnamese: Will the “grey matter” ever return home?
PhD. Ngo Thi Minh Thuy. (Photo in courtesy of the Owner)

At the end of the day, I am Vietnamese

Businessman Jesse Khanh Tran, Finland

Graduating from Aalto Mikkeli, I was lucky enough to be offered a job by a very successful international e-commerce startup in Finland.

In the course of my work, I had built strong relations in business circles. Therefore, I confidently split up from my company to open my first startup, FactoryFinder to connect small, local fashion brands in North America to clean and green factories in Vietnam, China, Taiwan (China), and India.

Thanks to our valuable working experiences, a wide network of business partners and the wonderful Co-founder Son Chu (Rens’ CTO and CMO), startup Rens had rudimentary success.

Businessman Jesse Khanh Tran. (Photo in courtesy of the Owner)

I believe that wherever I go, at the end of the day, I am still proud to be Vietnamese. I hope I can play a small part in representing Viet Nam in the international playground.

In the long term, I plan to invest in further research to be able to manufacture A-to-Zs, made-in-Vietnam products, transforming raw and auxiliary materials into the end-products without foreign factors.

I believe that wherever I go, at the end of the day, I am still proud to be Vietnamese. I hope I can play a small part in representing Viet Nam in the international playground.

I wish to boost Vietnam’s export turnover as well as contribute to building a network and a “greener and cleaner” Vietnamese industrial production management system, better than the Chinese’s. Beijing's implementation of the system, especially in the fashion industry, may resulted in negative impacts on its environment.

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