Last year, Vietnam received $12.3 billion in remittances, according to the World Bank, 57% of which came from the US. This money is used for a variety of purposes, including investment in new businesses. Another use is simply to convert dollars to VND and park the money in a savings account in order to earn 7% interest, a substantially higher ROI than in the US, where the interest rate is hovering around 1%.
In addition to remittances, there is significant overseas Vietnamese investment here, contrary to the letter and spirit of this recent Bloomberg article entitled Vietnam’s Divide: Slow Healing, Fewer Prospects for Children of U.S. Allies. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, overseas Vietnamese have invested in 52 out of 62 provinces and cities in Vietnam, where they currently run about 3,600 businesses with some 2,000 projects valued at a combined total of $8.6 billion. The projects are in trading, tourism, construction and real estate, in addition to the production of export goods, aquaculture and seafood processing. They bring generate about $20 billion in annual revenue.
The Ministry mentioned that overseas Vietnamese companies and entrepreneurs have stakes in domestic banks such as Techcombank and VPBank, and major property and tourism businesses such as VinGroup and Sungroup. There’s also overseas Vietnamese investment in large manufacturing companies like Eurowindow and Masan, as well as the waste processing firm Da Phuoc.