Overseas Vietnamese, workers send more money home

Vietnamese guest workers at HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat Airport before flying to their work destinations.
Vietnamese guest workers are going out in increasing numbers while “Viet kieu” are sending more money to invest in business.

As more Vietnamese go abroad to work, the inflow of remittances through money transfer companies and banks has jumped.

Tran Van Trung, director of Dong A Money Transfer Company, said Southeast Asia and the Middle East have emerged as the hotspots with remittances sent to Vietnam increasing sharply.

Nguyen Thu Ha, deputy general director of Vietnam Commercial Bank (VCB), said most of the money used to come from the US, Australia and Europe but now Vietnamese guest workers in Asia and the Middle East are also sending a lot of money home.

Moreover, she said, overseas Vietnamese now send money not only to their family but also to invest in business.

Dong A Money Transfer Company received remittances of US$631 million in the first half.

The company expects the whole year figure to be $1.2 billion, a 20 percent rise year-on-year.

Sai Gon Thuong Tin Bank and VCB reported remittances of $420 million and $730 million respectively.

Asia Commercial Bank reported a 125 percent increase.

Many money transfer companies and banks in Vietnam now consider guest workers going to Asia and the Middle East their target customers.

Some try to contact them before they leave, while others attract customers by offering to lend money for their flight tickets.

Some even accompany art troupes going abroad to perform for Vietnamese workers so that they can promote their services at the shows.

For the companies, patience is the key factor in persuading the workers to use their services.

Vietnamese guest workers in Malaysia, for instance, often send money home through global companies like Western Union and MoneyGram.

Vietnamese-based money transfer companies, therefore, have to spend a whole week in Malaysia to market their services to them.

Tran Van Trung, deputy director of Dong A Money Transfer Company, said in the Middle East his agency faces tough competition from foreign companies.

Last month Dong A Bank tied up with the US-based MoneyGram International to launch a free additional service under which remittances will be delivered directly to the receivers’ homes.

With more than 3 million overseas Vietnamese living around the world, Vietnam is now a promising remittance market, Nick Cunnew, MoneyGram’s senior regional director for Asia Pacific and South Asia, said.

According to the Overseas Labor Management Bureau, more than 43,000 guest workers went abroad in the first half of the year.

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