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Vietnam leaps to 10th in expat choice

Released at: 18:16, 05/07/2019

Vietnam leaps to 10th in expat choice

Expats enjoy local lifestyle at a draught beer spot. Photo: Le Diem

Country selected more by expats for good salaries, low living costs, and enjoyment of local culture and lifestyle.

by Le Diem

Vietnam has been selected among the top 10 destinations for expatriates in HSBC’s latest Global Expat Explorer Survey report.

The report surveyed over 18,000 expatriates in 163 countries and territories, asking their views on the quality of life, financial well-being, and ease of raising a family abroad, and identified the best places to live and work. It also delves into how expats flourish abroad.

Vietnam ranks tenth on the list, climbing eight ranks from 18th last year. Its appeal has expanded greatly in recent years and, in particular, serial expats are setting their sights on the magnificent landscape, lively culture, and positive work-life balance, according to the report.

Most expats moving to Vietnam say they were able to quickly adjust to the local way of life, feeling at home within the first few months of arriving, thanks to the Vietnamese community being welcoming and encouraging expats to get involved with their impressive calendar of cultural events, leading to many strong friendships being formed within a short time.

Expats are also pleasantly surprised by the benefits of working in Vietnam. Many receive salary increases which, given the relatively low cost of living, provide them with far more spending power to enjoy everything the country has to offer.

That has seen Vietnam become one of the most popular choices for expats who already have experience living abroad, the report said.

The top rank belonged to Switzerland, which leapfrogged Singapore and took the crown it has held for the past four years. Switzerland ranked high in quality of life, with 70 per cent of expats based there saying it had a better natural environment than their home country, compared to a global average of 40 per cent for all expats. Respondents also highlighted the country’s low crime rate and its economic and political stability; factors that helped push the country’s ranking from eighth to first this year. Switzerland also jumped from eight last year in earning potential and stability.

The seven other countries on the list are Canada, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Germany, and the UAE.

Vietnam was also named one the world’s best countries for retirees in 2019 earlier this year by MoneyWise, a digital personal finance publication and Annual Global Retirement Index, for its rich culture and history, gorgeous natural landscapes, and affordable living costs.

Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are the most expensive cities in the country, while a life of retirement in other tourism-centric cities like Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang, and Vung Tau will be much easier on the wallet. Two people can live on about $1,500 a month in major cities and if you head to the beach towns of Nha Trang or Da Nang you can live happily on less than $1,000 per month, according to MoneyWise. Nha Trang is home to plenty of expats and Western restaurants, while Da Nang is a modern city with a beach and a temperate climate. A one-bedroom apartment in either city rents for under $400 a month.

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