Covid-19 set to stem remittance flows to Vietnam

By Dang Khoa   August 26, 2020 | 05:11 pm PT
Covid-19 set to stem remittance flows to Vietnam
An employee counts U.S. banknotes among Vietnamese banknotes at a bank in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
Vietnam expects overseas remittances to fall this year as an economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Can Van Luc, chief economist at the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), estimated that remittances to Vietnam this year could drop by around 10-15 percent year-on-year or even higher.

Several economists have actually forecast that remittances could drop by as much as 40 percent this year, as the pandemic has not shown signs of ending, while Vietnam is facing a second wave.

Economist Nguyen Tri Hieu said the remittances mainly come from Vietnamese workers living and working abroad. However, many of them are now unemployed due to the pandemic impacts on overseas economies.

Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy head of the central bank's Ho Chi Minh City branch, said remittances to the city topped $3 billion in the first seven months this year, down 1.2 percent year-on-year. HCMC is usually the country's largest remittance recipient.

The World Bank said Vietnam was the ninth highest remittance recipient last year with $17 billion, equivalent to 6.5 percent of Vietnam’s GDP. Of this, HCMC attracted $5.3 billion.

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