Vietnam 19th best country in the world for expats: HSBC survey

By Dat Nguyen   November 8, 2018 | 12:13 am PT
Vietnam 19th best country in the world for expats: HSBC survey
A foreigner joins Vietnamese fans in cheering the national football team on January 27, 2018. Photo by Shutterstock/Tony Duy
Vietnam has climbed four places to 19th in the list of best countries for expats to work and live, an HSBC survey found.

With an average annual income of $90,408, nine out of 10 expats said in Vietnam they are as happy as or happier than at home, according to the 11th annual Expat Explorer issued by HSBC on Wednesday. 

Foreigners enjoy working in Vietnam for many benefits: 55 percent of respondents said they take more holidays, 41 percent live in a better home and 39 percent have more household staff compared to their home country.

Fifty-seven percent said their employment contracts include an annual allowance to fly home or to another place, higher than the global average of 17 percent.

Forty-two percent get an accommodation allowance while the global average is 18 percent, and 73 percent receive health and medical allowances compared to 43 percent elsewhere.

Vietnam ranks first in the world with 72 percent saying moving to Vietnam helps them save more and 72 percent also saying they have more disposable income than they did in their home country.

Both are higher than the global average: 52 percent for savings and 56 percent for disposable income.

There are also some downsides for foreigners living in the country, respondents said. While more than half of expats across the world said they enjoy the better overall quality of life, only four out of ten foreigners in Vietnam said so.

Organizing finances is difficult for expats, with only 27 percent of foreigners saying it is easy to open a bank account, buy insurance or pay taxes, while the global average is 43 percent.

Just more than a third had no difficulty in experiencing healthcare services, but this figure is 46 percent globally.

Raising a child in Vietnam poses challenges, with just 18 percent saying the quality of child care is better than in their home country, compared to the global average of 38 percent.

Forty-seven said Vietnam is a good place for expats who want to progress their career, while the global average is 56 percent.

There are financial issues that concern expats in Vietnam, with 37 percent being worried about restrictions on moving money out of the country and 22 percent each concerned about less favorable exchange rates and job security.

Sabbir Ahmed, head of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC Vietnam, said: "The survey shows Vietnam is a promising host country for expats who are seeking both opportunities and challenges to boost and develop their careers.

"We expect Vietnam to improve several areas to enhance the experience of expats and their families by developing further the environment, educational programs and financial services."

The ranking listed Singapore as the best place in the world for expats for the fourth year in a row, followed by New Zealand, Germany, Canada, and Bahrain.

The survey polled 22,318 people from 163 countries and territories through an online questionnaire.

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