Low living costs draw expats to Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge – Though Vietnam ranks 25th among the best 39 countries for expatriates to work and live, it is still attractive to expatriates thanks to its low living costs, friendly people and cultural diversity, according to a survey released on October 14 by HSBC.

Expat Explorer Survey, excellent quality of life, tourist attractions, Vietnam ranks

According to the latest Expat Explorer Survey, Vietnam ranks 25th on the list of 39 places that are good for expats to work and live, behind some Asian destinations such as India, Malaysia, Thailand and Japan.

Singapore takes the top spot in the eighth Expat Explorer country league table, with expatriates praising the opportunities for career development, appealing salaries and an excellent quality of life.

Meanwhile, Switzerland comes first as the best expat destination for career success and financial well-being. Some 77% of expats feel confident about the local economy, and 53% say it is a good place for career progress.

While Vietnam takes the 21st position in economics, it comes 5th in the ability of savings. The majority of expats say they have an easier life in Vietnam as they spend less money on accommodation/housing (62%), transportation (73%), clothing (68%), household goods (62%), utility (70%) and bills (77%) compared to when they were living in their home countries.

They are also able to save more (68%) in Vietnam. Half the expats also think their work is more fulfilling in Vietnam than it was at home. A high number of expats (62%) say they now can afford domestic help/staff such as cleaner and nanny which they could not when living in their home countries, and luxurious holidays (52%) compared to only 28% and 36%, respectively, of expats globally.

Vietnam ranks second in making friends. More than half the expats (56%) feel they are integrating well with local people and culture and a majority find it easy to form new friendship in Vietnam (68%).

It is easy for expats to settle down in Vietnam, with 36% who felt at home instantly or within six months. The majority also enjoy immersing in the culture of Vietnam (61%), eating and cooking local cuisine (78%).

Last, Vietnam stands 31st in family league table. Some 43% of expats consider the cost of childcare in Vietnam as less expensive than in their home countries and most expats (74%) send their children to international schools.

Kris Werner, head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC, said Vietnam is developing rapidly and its business environment is dynamic. It is an attractive destination for entrepreneurs looking to set up new ventures.

As an emerging market, Vietnam offers expats with both challenges and opportunities to boost and develop their careers. With its remarkable tourist attractions, culture and friendly people, Vietnam offers expats a great experience and ease in immersing and settling into the country.

Expats can best enjoy life in their new home by ensuring their finances are in order as this is one of the biggest challenges with 31% of expats saying their finances have become more complicated since they moved to Vietnam, the expert said.

The Expat Explorer survey was conducted with 21,950 expats from 198 countries and territories through an online questionnaire in March, April and May 2015. A total of 39 countries qualified for the league tables in this edition.


Expat Explorer Survey, excellent quality of life, tourist attractions, Vietnam ranks