Vietnam steps into top 10 desirable countries for foreigners

Posted by SE Vietnam - Student Exchange Vietnam

Securing a job and progressing career in your motherland is not a child’s play. After years in college accumulating knowledge and experience in your major as well as broadening potential network, you have to pluck up the courage to hit the send button and confidence and thorough preparation to ace the interview and training period. So, what if redoing that whole process all over again but in a totally different context and culture?

Admittedly, the thought of starting from scratch in an exotic place can be daunting for some people, but a breath of fresh air can offer great opportunites in a globalized world rather than invicible fears one may feel. Among destinations to lead a new life, Vietnam – a developing and culturally diverse country ranks the 10th in the list of best countries for expats to live and pursue their career. 


According to “High Net Worth Handbook 2019” on the world’s high net worth (HNW) population – individuals with a net worth of $1 million to $30 million published by Wealth-X, Vietnam is one of ten fastest-growing HNW countries in the period from 2018 to 2023. 
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Though Vietnam hasn’t topped among current 10 countries with highest HNW, the above prediction reveals that Vietnam is an enriching country full of potential that has not been untapped. HSBC’s similar survey in 2017 reveals that expats earn on average USD88,096 each year. Nearly three quarters (72%) say moving to Vietnam helps them putting some money aside and just over two thirds (67%) agree that they have more disposable income than they did in their homeland. 


“Most expats moving to Vietnam say they were able to quickly adjust to the way of life there, feeling at home within the first few months of arriving,” the HSBC report said.

In relation to work-life balance, in Asia, Thailand leads the way with 60% of expats saying that they experience a better work-life balance in the host country, closely followed by Vietnam (57%) and Indonesia (56%).


 Source: News Release (04/01/2017) – HSBC 

When being consulted for reasons for moving to Vietnam, most go for finding a new challenge (46%), some choose improving their quality of life (28%) and the rest is being sent by an employer (23%). However various motivation and incentives in mind maybe, almost half (47%) expatricate workers, espeically those in the U.S.A and China agree that Vietnam is a good place for expats who want to progress their career, lower than the global average (54%). 

Sabbir Ahmed, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Vietnam commented:

Vietnam remains a fascinating economy where expats around the world continue to enter to challenge themselves and boost their career. However, a satisfactory expat life is associated with how they experience the social and cultural aspects in a host country and how it offers the convenience and quality of life to expats and their families.  The survey suggests several areas for improvement to make Vietnam more attractive to expats. It is clear that expats expect the better early experience in organising their finances and healthcare, as well as the advantageous environment to bring up their children. This poses challenges to the capacity of the financial, medical and educational institutions, also opportunities for them to grow business from better serving this segment.

Besides, according to HSBC’s Expat 2019 Global Report, Switzerland is now the top nation for those fortunate enough to be relocated abroad by their employers—thanks to fast career progression, good pay, and “stunning scenery.”, and Vietnam proudly steps into top 10 on this list!

Overall 2019 rankings

Country Rank
Switzerland 1
Singapore 2
Canada 3
Spain 4
New Zealand 5
Australia 6
Turkey 7
Germany 8
Vietnam 10


It’s important to remember these results apply to expats—people that are generally more affluent and educated than local populations, and in particular immigrants from poor countries. Unlike other categories of migrants, expats generally live abroad on a temporary basis, and many have some or all expenses paid by their employers.

HSBC is clear that its survey is specific to expats only—as are other, similar rankings done by Mercer and the Economist Intelligence Unit—even if news reports covering the rankings read them as an overall verdict on general populations.

To sum up, embracing international citizens always comes with opportunities and challenges for both success seekers and the host country as well. To whom may be more likely to move their money abroad, they need to meticulously find out how global economy and their chosen destination’s cultural and political context impose certain impacts on their financial wellbeing to avoid unexpected pitfalls. At the same time, Vietnam – a desirable place offering a great number of ladders for one’s career in general and ABROADER in particular will continuously make progress towards upgrading the quality of educational services to help global interns and expats make the most of their experience here. 


  1. Quartz
  2. HSBC
  3. Wealth-X_High-Net-Worth-Handbook-2019.pdf, 2019
  4. Expat-explorer-best-destinations-for-an-international-career-in-2017-eng.pdf, 2017
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