Vietnam '09 overseas remittances fall 13 pct

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuoi Tre, VNA Vietnam received US$6.28 billion in overseas remittances last year, a smaller-than-expected drop of 12.8 percent from 2008, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) said Wednesday.

Tuoi Tre, VNA  Vietnam received US$6.28 billion in overseas remittances last year, a smaller-than-expected drop of 12.8 percent from 2008, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) said Wednesday.

The State Bank of Vietnam report revealed Ho Chi Minh City alone received $3.2 billion.

DongA Money Transfer Company deputy director, Trinh Hoai Nam, said Vietnam’s overseas remittances saw sharp increases since the fourth quarter of 2009 thanks to the recovering world economy.

The SBV in July last year raised its forecast for 2009 overseas remittances, saying the inflows could rise to between $5.8 billion and $6 billion from previous projections of $5.6-$5.7 billion.

Former SBV governor Le Duc Thuy said that a reduction in 2009 overseas remittances was unavoidable, due partly to rising unemployment in countries where Vietnamese expats live.

Remittances are now calculated on investment in the country by overseas Vietnamese, as well as money sent to support their relatives. Over the past few years, there have been some 3,000 projects totaling $2 billion launched by overseas Vietnamese.

There are almost four million overseas Vietnamese living in 100 nations worldwide. About 1.5 million Vietnamese are living in the U.S., 300,000 in France, 250,000 in Australia and 200,000 in Canada.

Late last year Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ordered seven major state-run companies to sell dollars they had been keeping to help ease a dollar shortage.

The measure was part of the government's efforts to shore up its chronically weak currency, the dong, including a one-off devaluation of 5.2 percent and a narrowing of the dong's trading band.

The seven firms included Vietnam Oil & Gas Group, Vietnam National Coal & Mineral Industries Group , Vinafood 1 and 2, the construction company Lilama Corp, Vietnam National Chemical Corp and Southern Airports Corp.

The government struggled to underpin its currency last year, and foreign exchange reserves dipped more than 20 percent between the end of 2008 and the end of August to $18.8 billion, according to the International Monetary Fund.
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Authors : Thuận Lợi Petro


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