2013 remittances to Vietnam commercial hub hits 4-year high

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Foreign remittances through Ho Chi Minh City banks surged by 18 percent last year to a four-year high of US$4.85 billion, partly thanks to an increase in the number of guest workers abroad, officials said.

Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the HCMC branch of the State Bank of Vietnam, said the amount was higher than targeted, Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon Online reported.

Minh said the remittances were mainly from the US, Europe, Australia, China, and Southeast Asia, and included a 10 percent increase in the amount sent home by guest workers.

Foreign remittances to the commercial hub usually account for around half of the country’s total, which in 2013 was worth $11 billion, a rise of 4.76 percent.

Figures from the labor ministry showed that the amount sent by workers, which usually makes up 20-25 percent of the country's total remittances, increased the most in five years to $2.2 billion.

Dao Cong Hai, deputy head of the ministry’s Overseas Labor Management Department, said the number of guest workers too increased by 10 percent to around 88,000, with nearly half of them working in in Taiwan, 10,000 in Japan, and large numbers in Malaysia and the UAE.


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They earn wages of $1,000-1,500 a month in Japan and Taiwan, Hai said.

A source at DongA Bank said foreign remittances through the bank could surge by 35 percent during the Lunar New Year festival.

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