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VIETNAM

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Nation Aims to Boost Its Currency: The government said it plans to reduce the use of U.S. dollars for internal transactions. In a speech opening a new session of Parliament last week, Deputy Prime Minister Phan Van Khai said the government aims to introduce measures to ensure the national currency, the dong, is the only one used internally. Since free market economic reforms were launched in the late 1980s, the dollar has been virtually interchanged with the dong and foreign firms are required to pay staff salaries and expenses such as airline and hotel bills in dollars. Khai said the government is revising the structure of management of foreign currencies “in order to stabilize the real exchange rate and to narrow gradually the scope of the use of domestic U.S. dollars.” But foreign bankers said attempts to stop Vietnamese from using dollars risks creating a black market.


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