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Vietnam offers easy finance but poor administration

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A majority of expats are content with Vietnam’s cost of living but find its administration among the worst worldwide, a new survey has found.

As many as 80 percent of surveyed expats said they are satisfied with the general cost of living in Vietnam compared to the global rate of 45 percent, ranking Vietnam first worldwide in the index of “Personal Finance”, according to a survey released Tuesday by the world’s largest expat community, InterNations.

“There are affordable prices in almost all areas,” said a Swiss expat who remains anonymous.

Ninety-two percent say their disposable household income is enough or more than enough to lead a comfortable life, compared to 72 percent globally.

“I live comfortably on my limited income,” shared an American expat.

For its annual Expat Insider survey, conducted for the ninth time this year, InterNations asked nearly 12,000 expats living in 52 countries and territories about living and working abroad.

As found in the survey, Vietnam is also considered a destination where expats can easily settle in and make friends.

The country ranks ninth in the “Ease of Settling In” index, with 84 percent describing locals as generally friendly compared to 66 percent globally, while 83 percent find them friendly towards foreign residents in particular compared to 65 percent elsewhere.

For the “Finding Friends” subcategory, expats rank Vietnam seventh, saying it is easy to make local friends.

Bad experience

Overall, Vietnam comes 7th out of 52 destinations in the Expat Insider 2022 survey, with 84 percent of expats happy with their life in Vietnam compare to a global rate of 71 percent. It ranks below Mexico, Indonesia, Taiwan, Portugal, Spain and the UAE, and above Thailand, Australia and Singapore.

However, expats rank Vietnam very low when it comes to administration, at 46th on the “Expat Essentials” index.

In the “Admin Topics” subcategory of the index, Vietnam ranks 51st overall, only above Malta.

Expats find it difficult to deal with local bureaucracy (66 percent versus 39 percent globally), open a local bank account (41 percent versus 21 percent globally), and get a visa in order to move there (48 percent versus 24 percent globally).

Expats vote the country last (52nd) for the availability of administrative/government services online, and nearly one in four expats find it generally difficult to pay without cash, compared to 8 percent globally.

They also raise concerns over environmental issues and the healthcare system.

The country lands among the bottom 10 in the “Quality of Life” index, where it is ranked 48th. Over half of them (53 percent) are unhappy with the urban environment, which is over triple the global average.

“The noise pollution is terrible,” a French expat commented.

Expats are especially unhappy with the air quality (64 percent unsatisfied versus 19 percent globally).

“The smog is a huge problem and the air is really toxic,” notes an expat from Italy.

What is more, over half the expats believe that the government does not support policies to protect the environment (versus 18 percent globally), ranking the country 50th for this factor.

Additionally, expats in Vietnam are unsatisfied with the country’s healthcare system. About one in five expats say that healthcare is “generally unavailable” and one in four reports that it is difficult to access all the kinds of healthcare services they need.

When expats are able to access healthcare services, they find them to be of poor quality, with 23 percent unhappy with the quality of medical care, compared to 14 percent globally.

The number of expats living and working in Vietnam was 117,800 in 2019, ten times higher than 2005, and 1.4 times higher than 2015.

By Minh Nga – VnExpress.net – July 13, 2022

Vietnam offers easy finance but poor administration
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