Vietnam is looking for ways to mobilize some of the country’s 500 tons of gold reserves and possibly thousands of tons hoarded by individuals — worth up $60 billion (about half of Vietnam’s GDP) that could be used to help grow the economy.
Circulating half the gold in the vaults and walls and beneath the floorboards would mean fewer loans from international credit institutions. That would require a major change in mindset. Vietnamese citizens often regard gold as an investment, and the government would have to persuade them that other assets are sound, and accessible.
Meanwhile, government gold holdings amount to $22 billion in reserve, roughly equivalent to the country’s foreign-exchange reserves after Vietnam imported some 500 tons of gold from 1990 to 2011.
The government has tried various measures to try to control the gold hoarding, but the key seems to be gaining the public’s confidence in other investments. That would unlock huge amounts of investment capital.
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