Despite economic difficulties, Vietnamese people still spent billions of US dollars this year on luxury cars or mobile phones, heard the Radio Voice of Vietnam, quoting source from the General Department of Customs.

The authority estimated Vietnamese people paid out up to 1 billion USD purchasing high-class mobile phones this year.

Statistics show Vietnam bought around 17 million mobile handsets in 2013, of which 7 million were smart phones.

The country’s smart phones market grew by 156 percent this year, ranking it first in Southeast Asia.

December has seen an additional 3,000 complete build-up vehicles shipped into the country, taking the total number of imported autos this year to 34,500 units worth 709 million USD.

The General Statistics Office said that the import of CBU units in 2013 shows an increase of 25.9 percent in volume and 15.2 percent in value. The rising number of imported vehicles shows the restored confidence of consumers.

Luxury cars imported from the UK, France, Germany and the US are favourites with Vietnamese consumers.

Vietnam turns also into big sturgeon caviar producer and consumer. Analysts said the demand for sturgeon caviar is very high in Vietnam with the rich willing to pay big money for caviar, which they believe is very good for health.

Sturgeon caviar has been well known throughout the world as the most expensive food, called “the black diamond”. A kilo of caviar is priced at 1,500-6,000 USD in the world. The price could be 10,000 for Beluga or Kaluga.

Le Anh Duc, General Director of Ca Tam Vietnam, as quoted by the Vietnam Net online newspaper, said a kilo of sturgeon caviar is selling at 25 million VND (1,200 USD) in the market. However, some people still order one kilo for one week use, which means that they spend 100 million VND every month on sturgeon caviar.

A report said the world needs 3,000 tonnes of sturgeon caviar every year, while the total output is just 100 tonnes. The short supply has prompted Vietnamese farmers to farm sturgeon.-VNA