Vietnam is estimated to have US$9.5 billion worth of incoming remittances in 2012, far lower than the projected figure of US$11 billion, said Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the central bank’s HCMC branch.
Speaking to the Daily on the sidelines of a conference in HCMC last Friday, Minh said HCMC received around US$4.1 billion of remittance, of which 23% was invested in unfinished property projects, 70% in production and business and 6% for household uses.
As remittances to HCMC normally account for around 42-43% of the nation’s total each year, the nation’s figure is projected at just US$9.2-9.5 billion in 2012, not US$11 billion as earlier predicted, Minh added.
According to a survey of the Daily, there were changes in remittance flow as of the end of September. The remittance flow dropped slightly for the first time and had some changes in structure compared to previous years.
The remittance amount in the January-August period fell 10% against the previous year, according to a source of the central bank. Based on statistics of remittance flow in the private sector, the remittance amount in 2012 was expected to drop slightly compared to 2011.
Besides, a survey of a number of banks and money transfer companies with the biggest market shares showed that their remittance revenue declined by 5-15% compared to the same period in 2011.
Dao Cong Hai, deputy head of the Overseas Labor Department of the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, said that remittances from Vietnamese guest workers abroad amounted to US$1.8-2 billion, equivalent to levels in the past seven years. Around 80,000 laborers were expected to work overseas in 2012, below last year’s target of 90,000.
However, remittances sent home by Vietnamese guest workers stayed stable due to higher wages. Vietnamese guest workers in Taiwan and Japan sent the largest amounts of remittance, followed by Malaysia and South Korea while remittance from Europe and the U.S. contributed an insignificant sum to the total figure.
In the middle term, experts said that remittances would remain stable due to increasing numbers of overseas Vietnamese, students and guest workers. There are four million overseas Vietnamese worldwide, 80,000 guest workers sent overseas annually and 500,000 guest workers in foreign countries.
The Saigon Times Daily