Overseas Remittances (Kieu Hoi) flowing in, intellectuals flowing out of Vietnam

Posted on August 22, 2012


The “brain-drain” has become a very big headache to Vietnam. A recent survey shows the relation between the brain-drain and the kieu hoi (overseas remittance).

High quality personnel leave the country

Statistics show that about 400,000 intellectuals, of which 25 percent are Vietnamese students, are living and working overseas.

A survey by IIE, an international education institute showed that up to 60 or 70 percent of Vietnamese overseas students intend to stay working in foreign countries after they finish the university education in the countries. 90 percent of the students attend the training courses with their own money, not with the funds provided by the state.

Every year, about 80,000 Vietnamese workers go working abroad.

The Vietnamese intellectuals, the students, who stay working in foreign countries after finishing schools and the workers going abroad every year, can all be the sources of overseas remittance to Vietnam.

The Vietnamese intellectual community mostly gathers in the US, Western Europe, Russia and East Europe – where there are developed economies. Here they can have high income and can send money to Vietnam to their relatives to help them improve the living standards.

Economists have pointed out the relation between the brain-drain, or the leave of Vietnamese intellectuals and the cash flow to Vietnam. In return for the decision to stay working in foreign countries, overseas Vietnamese have made great contribution to the development of the homeland via kieu hoi. Observers have reported a growing tendency of the Vietnamese people community to make investment in the projects in the homeland.

The “intelligence” would “repatriate”

According to the HCM City Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, in the last six years, from June 2005 to June 2011, the number of Viet Kieu-owned enterprises has increased by two folds which have the total chartered capital of 37 trillion dong.

It is estimated that 500,000 Viet Kieu visits the homeland every year, not only to meet their relatives, but also seek the investment opportunities. Reports show that 52 percent of the kieu hoi were injected in the Vietnamese real estate market in 2011.

A report by the World Bank released in 2011 showed that Vietnam ranks the 16th in the world and the second in South East Asia among the biggest overseas remittance receivers.

In 2001, only 1.75 billion dollars worth of kieu hoi were remitted to Vietnam, while the figure jumped to 9 billion dollars in 2011.

With the kieu hoi, Vietnamese families have more money and favorable conditions to ensure high education for their children. A lot of Vietnamese parents tend to send their children abroad to prestigious universities.

At first, this could be seen as a “brain drain movement,” which experts believe would do harm to the nation. However, if looking at the issue more carefully, one would realize that the presence of Vietnamese talented people in foreign countries does not always mean that Vietnam loses its intelligence. In fact, the intelligence, in some way or others, would come back to the homeland.

Every individual has the aspiration of living and working in the environment most suitable to him. Viet Kieu can make their contribution to the development of the homeland from everywhere, no matter if they are in Vietnam or any other countries.

Therefore, turning the brain drain into brain circulation, while trying to attract kieu hoi should be set up as an important task for now.

In the first six months of 2012, HCM City saw the decrease of 500 million dollars in kieu hoi in comparison with the same period of the last year. However, the bad news could turn into the driving force for Vietnam to change its viewpoint and policies about the brain drain, so as to pave the way for the talented people and the source of foreign currencies amounting to 7.26 percent of GDP in 2011 to return to the homeland/

Van Anh – Thien Thuat

Remittances from Overseas Vietnamese increase

The volume of overseas remittance into Vietnam is estimated at nearly US$10 billion in 2011, US$1.6 billion more than the record high recorded last year.

Vietnamese guest workers alone sent home about US$1.8 billion in 2011, according to the Department of Overseas Labour under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA).The money sent back to Vietnam by Vietnamese expatriates around the world made up 4.2 percent of the country’s GDP in 1999, 7.8 percent in 2002, and around 7.7 percent in 2010.

This source of capital offset nearly 50 percent of the trade deficit in 2010, according to the State Bank of Vietnam.

Vietnam ranked 16th among the nations receiving the most remittances from their respective expatriates in 2010, reports the World Bank. In Southeast Asia, Vietnam placed second, after the Philippines.

Recently, the price of US dollars has inched up so many local people prefer selling their US dollars to gold shops.

Representatives of the Sacomrex Company say that the number of people wanting to receive foreign currencies from Vietnamese expatriates depends on the exchange rates of foreign currencies. If the exchange rate on the free market is higher than that of the banks, people want to receive money in foreign currency, and vice versa.


Overseas Vietnamese shun stocks

Overseas remittances have elevated continuously over the years, even though the great majority of remittances finish up being committed to property, only a small proportion continues to be put in the country’s stock exchange, Gardners&Partners Investment Joint Stock Co general director Nguyen Tien Thanh has stated.

Just 5 years ago, most remittances ran straight into consumer investing, but more Vietnamese expatriates were now having to pay greater focus on investment possibilities in your home country, Thanh stated.

Overseas remittances hit an archive a lot of US$9 billion this year, a remarkable increase over 2010’s $8 billion and comprising 9 percent from the nation’s GDP. This moved Viet Nam in to the listing of the very best 16 international locations when it comes to overseas remittances received.

Amost 50 percent of those remittances this past year were committed to real estate sector while deposits in banks paid for for twenty-four.7 percent and consumer investing 19.4 percent. Only .9 percent were put in the stock exchange.

Couple of Vietnamese expatriates were interested in Viet Nam’s stock exchange because of heavy speculative methods and insider buying and selling, Thanh stated. Many Vietnamese expatriates were also afraid to trust money to investment or fund management companies for anxiety about wrongdoings.

“The potential of discovering such deeds, and also the penalty levels in Viet Nam are restricted,Inch he stated.

Overseas remittances were forecast to achieve over $12 billion this season, Thanh stated, and when only 10-20 percent of the amount were put get to be the stock exchange, it might assist the stock exchange be a more efficient funnel for businesses to boost capital.

“It will require a while to lure these funds in to the stock exchange,” he stated. “The amount of time will rely on how effectively the marketplace could be cool.”