Vietnam remains one of the world's top 10 remittance-receiving countries, with remittances from overseas Vietnamese this year estimated at 10.6 billion USD, up 6.5 percent compared with last year, according to the World Bank.

Remittances through official channels in HCM City are expected to reach 4.8 billion USD, compared with the 4.1 billion USD last year, according to Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank of Vietnam 's HCM City branch.

The remittances are mostly from the US and Europe, but remittances from China and the Republic of Korea increased sharply in 2013, accounting for nearly 5 percent compared with the 0.2 to 0.3 percent of total remittances to HCM City in previous years, according to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Economist Le Xuan Nghia said despite economic turmoil, the stability of the Vietnamese dong had helped the country to attract foreign direct investment as well as remittances from the overseas Vietnamese community.

Nghia said that overseas Vietnamese' remittances also included money invested in projects in Vietnam under the names of relatives.

The local security markets have also attracted investment from the expatriate community.

Some of the overseas investors have invested in the local real-estate sector and bought bad debts sold by the Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC) in the local market, said Nghia.

Under a market study conducted by Western Union, there are two main groups of remittances in Vietnam in recent years: remittances to support relatives in Vietnam and remittances to pays debts, build houses or buy property in Vietnam, according to Nguyen Thi Nhu Ly, regional director of Western Union, Indochina .

The Dong A Remittance Co has set a target of 1.35 billion USD in remittances, but that figure is expected to increase to 1.5 billion USD this year.

Trinh Hoai Nam, director of the company, said remittances from the company's major markets such as the US and Europe had increased sharply in the past few months.

The Sacomrex Remittance Co said the money to be remitted through the company will amount to 1.7 billion USD, 15 percent higher than its target for 2013.

Remittances from some of its major markets rose 300 percent over last year. Major surges were from countries with large numbers of Vietnamese workers.

Ngo Xuan Hai, director of Vietinbank's global money transferring company, estimated a 10 percent increase over the 1.2 billion USD remittances through this channel last year. The US, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan are among Vietnam's major remittance markets.

Hai said that previously most remittance recipients were from big cities, but now they are spread in provinces from Quang Tri to Quang Ninh, especially Nghe An, Thanh Hoa and Thai Binh, the native land of many Vietnamese guest workers.

Nguyen Thi Nhu Ly said in the past few years that Vietnamese guest workers, especially those working in Japan and Taiwan , have made a significant contribution to remittances to Vietnam .

She said the number of countries from where money is remitted to Vietnam has risen to 200 from 16 in 1994.

According to the Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, about 4.5 million overseas Vietnamese are residing abroad.

In addition, 500,000 Vietnamese are working as guest workers in other countries.-VNA