Remittances to Vietnam are expected to increase this year, boosted by better employment prospects in overseas markets and new investment by overseas Vietnamese, according to economic think-tanks.

Le Xuan Nghia, a former vice president of the National Financial Supervisory Committee, said that according to the data and market analysis of the past three years, remittances increase every year.

Remittances to Vietnam were 9 billion USD in 2011, 10 billion USD in 2012 and 11 billion USD last year. There are two main sources for the country's remittance inflows.

The incomes of Vietnamese workers overseas are likely to increase as unemployment rates fall to 4-5 percent from 9-10 percent in some developed countries, including the US, Canada and Australia.

A large number of Vietnamese workers are also likely to venture into new labour markets. Nguyen Thi Nhu Ly, the Regional Director of Western Union, Indochina, said remittances are being sent to Vietnam from an increasing number of countries. In 1994, the remittances transferred via Western Union came from only 16 nations. Today, remittances originate from more than 200 countries and territories.

In addition, the Government's policies have become more supportive for Vietnamese workers hoping to work abroad. Workers can send money home for investments, noted Vietcombank Deputy General Director Pham Thanh Ha.

Vietnamese individuals who live abroad but have retained their Vietnamese citizenship can now buy property without restrictions, according to the latest decree on the implementation of the Land and Housing Law.

Those who are eligible to buy houses in Vietnam can also enjoy other privileges, such as transferring land-use rights when selling property, using credit institutions to mortgage their land-use rights and leasing their properties.

The Vietnam Association of Financial Investors' General Secretary, Nguyen Hoang Hai, added that the increasing stability of the VND has aided in attracting increased remittances.

In a report released in October, the World Bank noted that Vietnam ranks among the 10 countries receiving the largest inflows of remittances.

According to the Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, some 4.5 million Vietnamese live in more than 100 countries and territories around the world. There are also around 500,000 Vietnamese guest workers.-VNA