Overseas remittances set to hit $12 billion in Vietnam in 2014

By Anh Vu, Thanh Nien News

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A bank employee stacks bundles of dollar notes at a bank in Hanoi. Photo: Ngoc Thang A bank employee stacks bundles of dollar notes at a bank in Hanoi. Photo: Ngoc Thang

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Overseas remittances are expected to hit $12 billion this year, or 8 percent of Vietnam's GDP, according to the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM).
The figure represented a US$1 billion jump over last year.
Around 35 percent of remittance recipients said they used the money to cover their daily expenses and 16 percent invested the funds in production and trade, CIEM deputy head Vo Tri Thanh said during a meeting in Hanoi on Wednesday.
Roughly 11 percent of the remittance recipients deposited the funds into bank accounts and another 11 percent used them to pay off outstanding debts, Thanh continued.
About 17 percent said the money they received from overseas made up 80 percent of their families’ total income, he said.
The study found the money was used differently between provinces and cities. While those in Ho Chi Minh City mainly use remittances to cover their daily expenses, residents in central provinces like Nghe An and Quang Binh used the funds to pay off debts.
In Hanoi, the recipients used them to build structures to honor and worship their ancestors.
About 57 percent of the country's total remittances come from the United States, followed by Australia, Canada, and Germany, Cambodia, and France, according to the study.
Roughly 4 million Vietnamese people are scattered in more than 100 countries and territories around the world, according to official data.

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