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In Vietnam you can still buy a house with gold, and the government doesn't like it
By John Boudreau and Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen
Monday, May 27, 2019
Vietnam may be one of the world's fastest-growing economies, yet it's still in the dark ages when it comes to joining the global trend toward cashless transactions. To understand why, look no further than to consumers like Tran Van Nhan, who recently bought his two-bedroom home in Hanoi with gold and a sack of cash.
"We paid almost half in gold bars and the rest in cash," Nhan, a 47-year-old shopkeeper, said of his new $138,000 condo. "We did that because we and the flat's owner didn't want to do a bank transfer. We are so used to buying things with cash and gold."
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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is trying to drag his citizens into the modern era of digital payments, reduce the amount of U.S. dollars in circulation in the country and establish the dominance of the nation's domestic currency, the Vietnamese dong. That also means introducing Vietnamese households to credit cards, bank transfers and digital payments rather than carrying around piles of cash and bullion for purchases.
Behind the push is growing frustration among Vietnamese officialdom about the cost of printing banknotes and the need for more transparent payment records in order to crack down on tax evasion and money laundering, a growing problem as the $237-billion economy continues to expand dramatically. ...
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