Gold association wants import restrictions lifted

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The Vietnam Gold Business Association will request the government to remove restrictions on gold imports so that they are determined by local supply and demand, an official said.

Gold should be treated as a special product and excluded from the list of imported goods, Huynh Trung Khanh, vice chairman of the Vietnam Gold Business Association, said in an interview published on the local news website VnExpress Saturday.

"Elsewhere around the world, gold has been perceived as a currency, but it's not the case in Vietnam. As a result, gold is still considered an imported product that increases the country's trade deficit."

The State Bank of Vietnam in November last year allowed the resumption of gold imports for the first time since June 2008 to stabilize the domestic market after prices soared to a record VND29 million per tael.

The move has helped bring local prices down and closer to global prices, said Khanh, also a consultant to the World Gold Council.

"But in order to keep the price of gold in Vietnam at the same level as other countries, the government needs to stop imposing import quotas and allow gold to be imported based on local demand," Khanh said.

Gold closed at VND26.4 million per tael on Saturday, down from VND26.51 the previous day. A tael equals 37.5 grams.

Vietnam imported about 6.8 tons of the metal last year, according to the Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint-Stock Co.

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