As well as China we’ve recently started working with clients in Vietnam. The country’s past may be remembered for the wrong reasons, however it is a location that is increasingly popular with expats and tourists alike. This means that it looks destined to have an exciting future - as one of Asia’s shining lights.
To help realise what the country can offer we’ve taken a quick look at five things you should know about Vietnam.
1 - An ‘Asian Tiger’ Economy
Originally the ‘Asian Tiger’ name was given to the continent’s first newly industrialised locations; Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Japan. Now however these areas have been joined by Vietnam.
According to ‘The Economist’ “foreign investment in Vietnam reached a new record in 2015, and surged again last year.” Forbes Magazine meanwhile commented that the country is ‘piecing together the right mix for rapid, sustainable growth.;
This means that a move to the country now comes at an exciting time in its development. The future looks every bit as exciting as it does in many of the more well-known nearby locations, making now the perfect time to make a move.
2 - Public/Private Healthcare Systems
As with almost every other country in the world, healthcare in Vietnam is split into public and private sectors - with these offering very different standards of care.
The public system is small, relatively undeveloped and only used by a small number of natives in the country. Currently it operates four hospitals, three in Hanoi and one in Ho Chi Minh City. These facilities are mainly used by those who don’t have the money for private cover, with the Vietnamese Government subsidising care for people by as much as 80% - with access being completely free for those living in ‘disadvantaged areas’.
Most of the expat medics moving to the country will work in the private system, with ‘Hoan My Medical’ the biggest private care provider in Vietnam. They operate eight facilities (seven hospitals and one clinic), dealing with almost two million patients each year.
Care standards in the private facilities are on a par with neighbouring locations like South Korea and Japan, whilst they are mainly staffed by American, Korean, French or German trained medics - including locals who completed their training overseas.
As a result English and French are widely spoken in the hospitals, making communication amongst staff simple for most expats.
3 - A Large Expat Population
Don’t fear that a move to Vietnam could be one that leaves you isolated either, the country has a thriving and ever growing expat population - especially in the medical sector. This factor, along with the incredibly friendly and welcoming native population, can make it an ideal location to explore with friends.
Whilst the healthcare sector attracts many Western trained staff, other areas bring people from all over the world to the country. Expat groups in major cities bring together Americans, Indians, Spanish and Australians (amongst others) - and these people can be invaluable when it comes to settling into your new life in the country.
4 - Low Cost of Living
Singapore is an amazing country, envied by many worldwide. The extortionate cost of living however puts many people off a move, with the thought of having to spend a small fortune for everyday items considered far from desirable.
That’s where Vietnam can excel. The country’s cost of living is far lower than most countries in Europe, let alone Singapore - with almost everything costing less.
According to recent statistics living in Vietnam costs between $600 and $1300 a month, inclusive of rent, travel, food and meals out. That represents a massive saving, and given how much the country has to offer is fantastic value for money.
Wages will be mainly lower than in Singapore, however with the cost of living in the Island City state around 200% higher, working in Vietnam can actually be more financially rewarding - especially if you find a role in one of the country’s top hospitals.
5 - International Schools
For any parent considering a move overseas, the educational facilities on offer have to be considered above most other factors. Handily Vietnam is home to some high quality international schools, teaching French, American and British curriculums - with well trained international teachers.
If you are moving to the country with children however it’s advisable to decide on a school as early as you can. Waiting lists can be lengthy, especially for the most prestigious facilities, and costs can also be high - although some employers will include an allowance in your salary package.
Vietnam is an incredible location, that makes a lasting impact on everyone who moves there. The country offers everyone a warm welcome, boasts some stunning scenery, remarkable history and an increasingly attractive healthcare sector - making it a highly appealing move.
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