Apart from the benefits of being a fast-moving and vibrant economy, Vietnam also offers a rich topographic diversity with mountains, jungles to beaches, wonderful food, and very hospitable people.
As 83% of expats in Vietnam are optimistic about living here for the next 12 months, the country remains among the top five places in the Asia-Pacific to live and work in 2021, and the 19th in the world, an improvement of three places against last year's ranking.
|Vietnam remains among the top destinations for expats. Source: HSBC|
The finding was revealed in HSBC's 14th Expat Explorer study – a global survey on over 20,000 people who live and work abroad – indicates that almost two-thirds (65%) of expats feel optimistic about the year ahead despite the volatility of the past 18 months.
Under the study, Taiwan was voted by 85% of the respondents as the most preferred destination for expats, with Australia, New Zealand, and Vietnam standing behind, chosen by 83%.
"Despite the very real challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic that the entire world has faced, there is a growing sense of optimism that with the vaccine rollout picking up the pace that we will all return to a more normal existence. In Vietnam, this will mean a return to strong economic growth in a very vibrant and exciting country, where apart from the benefits of being in a fast-moving and vibrant economy, the country also offers a wide variety of geographies from mountains, jungles to beaches, wonderful food, and very hospitable people," said Tim Evans, CEO of HSBC Vietnam.
"As an expat living here in Vietnam, I would not want to be anywhere else at this exciting time for the country," he added.
The report noted the key reason driving optimism is their hope to live 'normally' again (75%), but six in ten (61%) are also feeling positive because of the quality of life they will be able to enjoy.
As the world has been in a state of flux during the pandemic, the study suggests that locations where a sense of stability has been maintained ranked highly. Nearly all expats based in Australia (92%), Switzerland (92%), and Jersey (in the Channel Islands) (90%) would recommend their location as a 'stable' place to live in the next 12 months.
Expats' desire to live and work abroad has not been diminished by the pandemic – the majority plan to stay in their host location for the foreseeable future, with 80% intending to continue living in their host country for the next year at least, and only 7% planning to move.
The findings suggest expats are prioritizing personal lifestyle choices rather than traditional relocation drivers – such as career progression (34%) or expanding professional network (31%). The top five goals that expats look forward to achieving in the next 12 months are: Getting to know the local area (50%); Travelling (47%); Understanding and exploring local culture (47%); Making new friends (45%); Going out more (41%).
Over two-thirds (67%) of expats also believe their quality of life is better in their current location. Furthermore, globally, over two in five (46%) expats feel that their host communities have changed to be more supportive during Covid-19. The number is even higher in Vietnam where 51% of expats say the local community has become more supportive of each other since the start of the pandemic.
However, the study also highlights some of the challenges that expats have faced during the pandemic. Over half (63%) have been stopped from traveling abroad for business, and the majority (90%) were unable to see family or friends in their home countries. Yet it also points out the resilience of the global expat community, with two in five (42%) saying they were able to continue to manage their physical health.
“Despite incredibly challenging times, I am encouraged to see sparks of optimism among global expats. Our study confirms that expats continue to thrive in their host countries and many are looking forward to remaining there for the foreseeable future. Following many months of uncertainty, I'm heartened to hear how expats are benefiting from relocating – over two-thirds told us they feel their quality of life is better now, albeit with a lot of changes," said Cameron Senior, Interim Head of HSBC Expat.
"Despite their positivity, I'm very mindful of the disruption they have experienced (which remains ongoing in certain locations) including their ability to see family or friends in their home countries and travel for business. This reality puts their optimism in even sharper focus, and makes me more determined to fully support our expat customers as they navigate life away from home," he said.
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