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Vietnam second most popular in ASEAN for expats

Released at: 17:16, 26/09/2016

Vietnam second most popular in ASEAN for expats

Photo: Viet Tuan

HSBC's Expat Explorer 2016 report puts Vietnam behind only Singapore in ASEAN and 19th in the world.

by Minh Tuyet

Vietnam ranks second as an ideal destination for expats in ASEAN and 19th globally, according to HSBC’s Expat Explorer 2016 report.

The ranking is an improvement over last year, when it was 25th globally. “Vietnam is second after Singapore among six ASEAN countries - Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam,” the report said.

Thirty-five per cent of expats in Vietnam agree that the country is a good place to progress their careers. The Top 3 reasons why expats live the country are: for a new challenge (46 per cent), a posting by their employer (26 per cent), and to improve their quality of life (24 per cent).

In terms of income, 35 per cent also say they earn more here than they would in their home country. “Specifically, expats in Vietnam earn $103,000 annually on average, which is ahead of the global figure, a quarter less than in Singapore, and slightly lower than in Malaysia ($104,000),” the report noted. Those who earn more than $200,000 account for 14 per cent.

“The country impresses expats thanks to its economic advantages,” the report said. Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) feel confident about the local economy and over three in five (62 per cent) appreciate its political stability, the second highest in ASEAN after Singapore.

Vietnam offers good opportunities for saving, with roughly three-quarters (73 per cent) having been able to save more since they moved to the country. “However, almost three in five (59 per cent) find managing money in Vietnam more restrictive and complicated and more than one-third (34 per cent) face some difficulties in organizing their finances concerning bank accounts, insurance, and tax payments,” it revealed.

Although expats enjoy the social life and cultural experience in Vietnam, a significant proportion (78 per cent) expressed concern about environmental issues. Among those who have offspring, four in five believe their children have the same (or better) quality of life as in their home country but the same proportion is not comfortable with the cost of education.

 “Being one of the most dynamic economies in Asia, it is not surprising that Vietnam is a promising host country for expats seeking both opportunities and challenges to boost their careers,” said Mr. Sabbir Ahmed, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC.

Vietnam should further focus on improving the environment, educational programs and financial services in order to improve the experience of expats and their families, he went on.

“In relation to the financial aspect, I am confident that international connections, remarkable investment in digital platforms and concerted efforts in increasing the customer experience have been delivered by some banks and can satisfy this special customer segment,” he concluded.

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