Expats working in Vietnam said they earn on average nearly US$88,100, with 36 per cent seeing their income increase by 25 per cent, the latest Expat Explorer survey compiled by HSBC Bank revealed.

According to the HSBC survey, nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of expats in Việt Nam say moving to the country helped them save more and just over two thirds (67 per cent) agreed that they have a higher disposable income than they did in their home country.

The most popular reason for saving or investment is still retirement (37 per cent), followed by buying the first/next property (29 per cent). Nevertheless, when it comes to property ownership, only under one-fifth (18 per cent) of expats own property in Vietnam, which is half of the global average. Forty-two per cent of expats don’t own any property either in their home country or host country.

Nearly half (48 per cent) of the expats in Vietnam say they take more holidays, besides enjoying the comforts of domestic help such as cleaner and nanny (46 per cent) and living in a better property (45 per cent).

Expats move to Việt Nam for various reasons, with the top three being finding a new challenge (46 per cent), improving quality of life (28 per cent) and being sent by an employer (23 per cent).

With these aspirations in mind, almost half (47 per cent) agree that Việt Nam is a good place for expats who want to progress in their career, lower than the global average (54 per cent).

Expat employment also comes with its perks. A vast majority (79 per cent) of expats in the country receive benefits as part of their employment contract, with 49 per cent receiving health and medical allowances, 42 per cent accommodation allowance and 42 per cent an annual trip home or airfare allowance, compared with the global average of 44 per cent, 20 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively.

Two-thirds (67 per cent) of expats say they feel confident about the Vietnamese economy. But the issues that concern them the most in connection with their financial wellbeing are the restrictions on moving their money across countries (43 per cent), less favourable exchange rate and economic uncertainty globally (both 34 per cent).

The country also receives less favourable feedback when it comes to Experience and Family. Only 28 per cent of expats in Việt Nam agree that they enjoy a better overall quality of life, including everything from health to culture, compared with the view of more than half (52 per cent) of expats worldwide about their host country.

Sabbir Ahmed, head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Vietnam, said Việt Nam remains a fascinating economy for expats from around the world to challenge themselves and boost their careers.

“However, the survey suggests several areas for improvement to make Việt Nam more attractive to expats,” he added.

“It is clear that expats expect better experiences early on in organising their finances and healthcare, as well as an advantageous environment to bring up their children. This poses challenges for financial, medical and educational institutions, while at the same time also providing opportunities to grow their business by better serving this segment,” he said. — VNS
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