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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   9  November 2015  

VN remittances hit $3.7b in October

Vietnamese remittances from overseas to HCM City, one of the country's leading destinations for remittances, hit US$3.7 billion by the end of October, a year-on-year increase of 13 per cent.

Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank of Viet Nam's HCM City branch, said that the inward remittance was up $450 million against September 30 and equal to 72.5 per cent of the entire last year.

Minh said that the remittances to the city during the year-end months were often higher than those in the first months of the year, estimating that the remittances in the fourth quarter alone could be equal to that in the first six or seven months of the year.

At this speed, Minh expected the remittances to hit $5.5 billion this year, up $500 million against last year.

Minh attributed the rise to the recent favourable devaluation of the dong against the US dollar, the recovery of local businesses, the warming real estate market and the Government's decision to allow foreigners to own homes in Viet Nam.

Director of DongA Bank's Remittance Co Tran Van Trung told Sai Gon Dau tu tai chinh (Sai Gon Financial Investment) newspaper that his company targeted a remittance growth rate of 15 per cent to 20 per cent this year. Last year, remittances to the company reached $1.6 billion, up 10 per cent against the previous year.

Besides the traditional markets of the US, Australia and Canada, where there are many Viet kieu (oversea Vietnamese), his company will also focus on new markets such as Japan and Malaysia, which are Viet Nam's large labour export markets.

Sacombank, meanwhile, targeted a remittance of $1.9 billion this year, equal to that of last year.

Vietnamese living abroad remitted more than $5 billion to HCM City last year, 4.2 per cent higher than in 2013, according to the city's Committee for Overseas Vietnamese.

Between 1993 and 2014, Viet Nam received total remittances of about $96.66 billion, with an average remittance of $4.4 billion per year, accounting for 6.8 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) over the period.

Remittances into Viet Nam have increased about 22.4 per cent annually in the past two decades, with an exception in 1997 and 2009 when economies in the world faced a financial crisis. --— VNS

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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