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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   16  January 2014  

Overseas employment growth to boost 2014 remittances

Remittances to Vietnam are expected to increase this year, boosted by better employment prospects in overseas markets and new investments by overseas Vietnamese, according to economic think-tanks.

Le Xuan Nghia, a former vice president of the National Financial Supervisory Committee, said that according to the data and market analysis of the past three years, remittances increased every year.

Remittances to Viet Nam were US$9 billion in 2011, $10 billion in 2012 and $11 billion last year. There are two main sources for the country's remittance inflows.

The incomes of Vietnamese workers overseas are likely to increase as unemployment rates fall to 4-5 per cent from 9-10 per cent in some developed countries, including the United States, Canada and Australia.

Several Vietnamese workers are also likely to venture into new labour markets. Nguyen Thi Nhu Ly, the Regional Director of Western Union, Indochina, said remittances are being repatriated to Viet Nam from an increasing number of countries. In 1994, the remittances transferred via Western Union came from only 16 nations. Today, remittances originate from more than 200 countries and territories.

In addition, the Government's policies have become more supportive for Vietnamese workers hoping to work abroad. Workers can send money home for investments, noted Vietcombank Deputy General Director Pham Thanh Ha.

Vietnamese individuals who live abroad but have retained their Vietnamese citizenship can now buy property without restrictions, according to the latest decree on the implementation of the Land and Housing Law.

Those who are eligible to buy houses in Vietnam can also enjoy other privileges, such as transferring land-use rights when selling property, using credit institutions to mortgage their land-use rights and leasing their properties.

The Vietnam Association of Financial Investors' General Secretary, Nguyen Hoang Hai, added that the increasing stability of the dong has aided in attracting increased remittances.

In a report released in October, the World Bank noted that Vietnam ranks among the top 10 countries receiving the largest inflows of remittances. The country received $10.6 billion in remittances in 2013, 6.5 per cent higher than 2012's figure.

According to the Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, some 4.5 million Vietnamese live in more than 100 countries and territories around the world. There are also around 500,000 Vietnamese guest workers.

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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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