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Vietnam named one of the friendliest places on Earth for expats

Vietnam has been named among the top 10 destinations for expats in a new ranking aimed at guiding the world’s rising number of modern nomads.

The country was placed ninth on the InterNations’ 2018 Expat Insider survey, climbing three spots from last year.

More than four in five expats, or 81 percent, described the Vietnamese people as welcoming, and 73 percent said it was easy to settle down in the country, the survey found.

Of the expats questioned, 56 percent said they had found it easy to make friends with locals, and 16 percent said they planned to stay forever.

More than half of the expats said they planned to stay in the country for up to five years, which was well above the global average of 35 percent.

“I love the friendly vibe in the city,” said an expat from South Korea who lives in Saigon, as cited in an InterNations press release on Tuesday. “People are mostly nice and gentle.”

InterNations, the largest network for people who live and work abroad, this year ranked 65 economies by looking at comments from nearly 13,000 expats from 188 countries and territories.

Portugal was named the country with the happiest expats, followed by Taiwan, where most expats said they felt at home, and Mexico, where many said it was easy to settle down and acclimatize to the local culture.

Cambodia, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Oman, Colombia and Canada were other destinations named in the top 10.

Rankings of the most welcoming countries for expats in 2018. Graphics by InterNations

Ranking of the most welcoming countries for expats in 2018. Graphics by InterNations

The United States was ranked 36th, while the least friendly countries were Finland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria and Kuwait, the survey found.

There are around 82,000 foreigners living and working in Vietnam.

The new ranking is uplifting in wake of an HSBC survey in September 2017 that found many expats were not happy with life in the country, with only 28 percent of expats agreeing that they enjoyed a better overall quality of life than in their home countries.

According to HSBC, the average income for expats in Vietnam dropped by 14.5 percent from the previous year to $88,096 in 2017, which is lower than the global average. Vietnamese workers earned $2,200 on average last year.


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