Vietnam imported 339.86 tons of gold from 1998 to September this year while exporting 268.86 tons during the period, central bank governor Nguyen Van Giau said in a statement Monday, citing customs statistics.
The statement was made in response to a question from a national legislator on the amount of gold that the public is holding as personal reserves, the Vietnam Economic Times reported.
Giau did not provide any comment, but the difference of only 71 tons between gold imports and exports could mean that information about 1,000 tons being held by the public could be false.
Speaking at a press briefing on November 9, the governor said Vietnam has not kept statistics on the gold holdings by the public. "Some people say there are 1,000 tons, worth 45 percent of the country's gross domestic product, and I don't know where this figure comes from," he said.
After the central bank issues new regulations on the management of the gold market, there will be officials statistics based on import-export figures, Giau said.