President Tran Dai Quang and overseas Vietnamese offer incense at Kinh Thien Palace (Photo: dangcongsan.vn)

According to Ms. Dang Thi Thu Ha, from the Department of Economic Relations, Science and Technology, State Commission for Overseas Vietnamese (SCOV) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are about 400,000 overseas Vietnamese intellectuals, including scientists and experts working in scientific research, economic management centres, finance and banking, transnational companies and international organizations. Apart from good capacity and knowledge, they have Vietnamese blood, patriotism and desire to contribute to the development of Vietnam.

Ms. Ha said that in recent years, hundreds of overseas Vietnamese intellectuals have returned to the homeland to work, participate in research and devote themselves to the nation. Additionally, they also regularly pay attention to important socio-economic issues of the country such as renewable energy, nuclear power and start-up projects.

Entrepreneur Thach Le Anh, founding member and Head of Vietnam Silicon Valley (VSV), a project of the Ministry of Science and Technology to attract, support and invest in start-up ideas under the model of the US’s Silicon technology valley, said that over the past five years of VSV’s operation, overseas Vietnamese intellectuals have made many important contributions and encouraging achievements to the construction of start-up models of Vietnam’s science and technology in the fields of supporting to call on capital, building relations with venture investment funds and foreign investors, advising and supporting inexperienced start-up activities in Vietnam.

Start-up activities need a lot of support, not only in finance but also knowledge and experience. Overseas Vietnamese intellectuals are one important resource to build Vietnam into a start-up nation. According to experts, if Vietnam goes slowly on the way, the creative ideas and intelligence of Vietnam will be drained out to foreign countries, where the start-up ecosystem support is better.

Encouraging and mobilizing overseas Vietnamese intellectuals to contribute to the country has great potential, but it hasn’t developed symmetrically. Ms. Ha said that the promulgated policies seem not to be strong enough and there is no specific and attractive remuneration frame for intellectuals living abroad. In addition, Vietnam has no information, exchange and guidance coordination system to help overseas Vietnamese intellectuals get access to creative ideas and business ideas. Moreover, the working mechanism creates uncertainties for those trying to be ready to work in Vietnam.

The biggest problem for Vietnam’s start-up ecosystem is capital resources and legal framework for start-up businesses and venture investment funds. This shortcoming can discourage overseas Vietnamese intellectuals, even when willing to support the development of the country's start-up problem.

To overcome remaining problems, it is necessary to change policies to invite leading scientists, experts and intellectuals with appropriate wage and remuneration mechanisms. In addition, the change in mechanism and policy towards empowering intellectuals and scientists in research, contribution and support is an important factor to create motive force for them to return to the homeland.

Furthermore, the State should give priority to start-up ecosystem development, encouraging the establishment and development of start-up and technological businesses of overseas Vietnamese people in Vietnam. This will attract high-ranking consultants with knowledge, intelligence, capital and relations, contributing to cause of building and developing the country./.

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