Scandinavian Vietnamese Back For New Year Celebrations

In a feature about overseas Vietnamese coming home for the Lunar New Year, Tet, one Danish and one Swedish based Vietnamese was interviewed on the website VietNamNet Bridge about their impressions.
According to the website, the number of Overseas Vietnamese coming home for Tet is much larger compared to previous years. The decision to exempt Overseas Vietnamese from entry visas in 2007 is seen as a catalyst encouraging them to revisit the country after many years living abroad.
Painter Van Duong Thanh from Sweden said:
 “Before, it took me a long time to arrange for a visa to go back home, particularly if I wanted to stay for a longer period. Due to the nature of my job, sometimes I was on trips to neighbouring countries but I couldn’t enter the country as I didn’t have a visa.”
“Now I can visit my relatives at home at anytime I want. There is no geographical distance between me and the homeland. Whenever I set foot on Vietnamese soil I have a feeling “I’m coming home to my mother”, Thanh said.
Professor Nguyen Ba Thuan returning home from Denmark said:
 “I’m very impressed by the rapid development of the country. I’m amazed at what I have seen. Over the last 30 years, after the war ended, Vietnam has revived and become a strong nation. It is now on a par with many other nations. I have travelled extensively over the years and have seen with my own eyes wherever I go that the people are living happily. What’s more important is the people’s confidence in the country’s progress.”
Professor Thuan also mentioned Resolution 36 issued by the Party’s Political Bureau on Vietnamese living and working abroad. The resolution has offered opportunities for them to contribute to national construction.
“Resolution 36 has encouraged us a lot. It is our responsibility to double or even triple our contributions to the homeland,” Professor Thuan said according to the website.
Up to now there are about 3,000 projects invested in by Overseas Vietnamese with a total registered capital of VND30,000 billion (US$1.86 billion). In 2007 alone many companies owned by Overseas Vietnamese were granted business licences. In Ho Chi Minh City, 514 companies with a total capital registration valued at VND2,232 billion (US$140 million) were granted licences. 
An important objective of the association of Overseas Vietnamese is to help the younger generation to remember their roots, where their parents or grant parents were born and grew up. They have organised classes to teach the Vietnamese language to the children and raised funds to help needy people in the country, particularly the victims of natural disasters.

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