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Updated: Aug 23, 2019

A proposal to establish the Viet kieu (Overseas Vietnamese) Bank in Viet Nam has been raised at a meeting between Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Viet kieu experts last week.

Banking expert Dr Nguyen Tri Hieu said he expected the proposed bank would connect Viet kieu with domestic investment projects. The difference between the Viet kieu Bank and other banks, noted officials, is that it would become a financial bridge, linking foreign investors with domestic firms. Currently, there is no bank in Viet Nam focusing on such a link, he said. Hieu expects Viet kieu Bank to assist domestic firms, especially start-ups and small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as those facing financial difficulties but having great potential, to successfully access foreign capital. Further, he said, Viet Nam also needs a bank that is established in accordance with international standards of human resources, infrastructure, information technologies and financial services.

According to Hieu, some Viet kieu proposed the plan to the Government many years ago, however, it could not be implemented at that time, as Viet Nam’s legal regulations would not allow foreign shareholders to contribute charter capital to domestic banks. Today, the establishment of such bank is legal, Hieu said, adding that the Government is also encouraging Viet kieu to invest in the homeland to assist in the nation’s development. Additionally, Hieu said, the financial status of 4.5 million Viet kieu has significantly grown over the past years. He estimated that income from Viet kieu throughout the world is equal to roughly 50 per cent of Viet Nam’s GDP. As for the Viet kieu Bank’s operation, like other banks in Viet Nam, "the Viet kieu Bank will operate with the approval and direction from the State Bank of Viet Nam", Hieu said. The bank would also provide consultations to help Viet kieu and foreigners looking to invest in Viet Nam, as they seek suitable investment projects. Hieu said he was optimistic about the proposed bank, confirming that many Viet kieu have also expressed interest in the plan.

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