Vietnam fifth biggest remittance recipient in Asia-Pacific: report

Vietnam fifth biggest remittance recipient in Asia-Pacific: report

An employee counts dollars at a bank in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Vietnam was the fifth biggest remittance recipient in the Asia Pacific region in 2017, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said in a report released on Monday.

Inward remittance flow to Vietnam approximated US$14 billion last year, IFAD,a specialized agency of the United Nations, said in the RemitSCOPE – remittance markets and opportunities – Asia and the Pacific report.

The three largest remittance recipients in the region were India at $69 billion, China at $64 billion and the Philippines at $33 billion, according to the report.

At $13,781 billion, Vietnam ranked fifth in the Asia Pacific region, and second across Southeast Asia.

Photo RemitSCOPE
Photo: RemitSCOPE

About 70 percent of remittances sent to Asia and the Pacific come from outside the region, led by the Gulf States, making up 32 percent of the total, North America, 26 percent, and Europe, 12 percent.

Remittances contributed an average of 60 percent of the total income of a transfer-receiving household.

Worldwide, an estimated 40 percent of the total value of remittances goes to rural areas, while remittances to Vietnam go in the opposite way as 66 percent of its receivers are in the countryside.

In addition, families in Asia and the Pacific are able to save and invest up to 30 percent of their remittances ($77 billion) for asset-building, the other 70 percent of remittances are spent on basic needs such as food, clothing, health and education, IFAD said, citing its finding.

The United Nations’ agency issued a call to help workers reduce the cost of sending remittance to their countries of origin and from urban markets to rural areas.

Almost 80 million migrants who cross international borders to work transfer money home eight to ten times a year. However, the remittance service fee is likely to cause the payee to lose a significant portion of the sending value.

The transaction costs to send remittances to the entire region, at 6.86 percent, are slightly below the world average of 7.13 percent as of first quarter of 2018.

An employee counts dollars at a bank in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre
An employee counts dollars at a bank in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

RemitSCOPE, a new website portal, is designed to provide data, analyses and remittance market profiles on individual countries or areas in coordination with the Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development 2018.

The publication of RemitSCOPE – remittance markets and opportunities – Asia and the Pacific report provides a snapshot of the findings, analyses, and insights about the Asia and the Pacific remittance market.

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