Remittances to Ho Chi Minh City rise despite pandemic

By Thanh Le   November 1, 2020 | 10:37 pm PT
Remittances to Ho Chi Minh City rise despite pandemic
An employee counts U.S. banknotes among Vietnamese banknotes at a bank in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
HCMC saw overseas remittances rise by 6 percent year-on-year to $4.2 billion in the first nine months of this year, despite the economic fallout of the Covid-19 outbreak.

It is expected that remittances for the full year would be $5.5 billion, 8 percent up from 2019, said Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the HCMC branch of the State Bank of Vietnam.

Remittances to the city have been coming into business instead of property, stocks or savings, he said.

In recent years, they have been growing at 8-10 percent a year, but often depend on the global economic situation and that of overseas workers.

Minh said they have been steady since the beginning of this year, and continue to come mainly from the U.S. and Europe.

Vietnam's economy has steadied and there are no adverse sentiments putting pressure on the currency exchange, meaning remittance recipients are not averse to exchanging to and holding the dong, which in turn further helping keep the exchange rate steady.

On Monday morning, banks were selling the dollar for VND23,090-23,270.

Remittances to Vietnam have been on an upward trend for the last two decades after starting at a mere $1.3 billion in 2000.The World Bank said Vietnam was the ninth highest recipient last year with $17 billion, equivalent to 6.5 percent of its GDP. HCMC accounted for $5.3 billion.

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