It is an adventure on many levels for expats moving to Vietnam. It is a destination that offers anideal combination of high quality of life and good earning potential. Vietnam also has a thrivingart scene, beautiful landscapes, a fast-growing economy and arguably the best food in Asia. Onits eastern border Vietnam has thousands of kilometres of beautiful beaches. To the west it hasa mountainous borderline shared with Laos and Cambodia while it shares its northern perimeterwith China.Vietnam’s capital is the northern city of Hanoi, a fast-changing city filled with beautiful lakes,bustling streets, new developments, restaurants and tens of thousands of motorbikes.Vietnam’s most important economic hub is Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon) in the south.Alongside old French-colonial architecture in Ho Chi Minh City, one can expect to seeskyscrapers, malls and modern restaurants.Politics in VietnamAlong with China, Cuba and Laos, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is one of the world’s fourremaining one-party socialist states officially espousing communism. A single-party socialistrepublic framework, where the President of Vietnam is the head of state and the Prime Ministerof Vietnam is the head of government defines the politics of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam ina one-party system led by the Communist Party of Vietnam. The government and the Presidentof Vietnam exercises executive power. The National Assembly of Vietnam holds legislativepower. The Executive is independent of the Judiciary. The current Constitution of Vietnam wasadopted by the parliament its fifth, on 28 November 2013.The National Assembly elects the President for a five-year term and acts as thecommander-in-chief of the Vietnam People’s Armed Forces and Chairman of the Council forDefence and Security. The Prime Minister heads the government and has several Deputy PrimeMinisters and several ministers in charge of particular activities. The implementation of political,economic, cultural, social, national defence, security and external activities of the state is theresponsibility of the executive branch. The National Assembly is a unicameral legislative body.Economy of VietnamVietnam’s nominal GDP reached US$138 billion in 2012 with a nominal GDP per capita of$1,527. The Vietnamese economy will become the world’s 21st-largest by 2025 according to aDecember 2005 forecast by Goldman Sachs, with an estimated nominal GDP of $436 billion anda nominal GDP per capita of $4,357. Vietnam may be the fastest-growing of the world’semerging economies by 2025 according to a 2008 forecast by PricewaterhouseCoopers, with apotential growth rate of almost 10% per annum in real dollar terms. That Vietnam’s total GDPwould surpass those of Norway, Singapore and Portugal by 2050, was predicted by HSBC in2012. For much of its history, Vietnam has been a predominantly agricultural civilization basedon wet rice cultivation. Bauxite mining is an industry in Vietnam and is an important material forthe production of aluminum. The Vietnamese Communist Party shapes the Vietnameseeconomy in Five Year Plans made through the plenary sessions of the Central Committee andnational congresses.Buying and Renting Property in VietnamThe process of finding a home in Vietnam is simple as seen by expats. Accommodation inVietnam can be found via word of mouth, through the expat’s employers and by using theservices of estate agents. There are numerous websites that cater specifically to the needs ofexpats in cities such as Hanoi and HCMC. These sites are a great source of information andhave listings of available properties. For those people who haven’t got accommodation throughtheir employers the next best thing is to enlist the services of a real estate agent. Theseprofessionals can assist expats in finding a property that meets their needs and requirements.They also have a detailed knowledge of the local property market. Furthermore it can beincredibly useful having an estate agent negotiate a lease on behalf of an expat who doesn’tspeak the local language.Due to the often short-term nature of their assignments, most expats who relocate to Vietnamopt to rent rather than buy property. Naturally, the number of rooms, the type of property and thelocation of the property, will impact the rental price. Expats will usually be expected to pay atleast one or two months’ rent upfront as a security deposit to rent a property in Vietnam.Visa and ImmigrationWriter Relocations provides visa and immigration services for Vietnam and many othercountries across the globe. You can get in touch with our executives for further assistance.Schools in VietnamThere’s been a growth in the number of private schools in Vietnam in recent years. Especially inHo Chi Minh City there are a number of prestigious international schools and these offertop-quality education to both expats and wealthy Vietnamese families. Despite being adeveloping country, Vietnam has a good standard of public education and a literacy rate of over90 percent.There are schools that are under-resourced and poorly staffed outside the country’s main urbancentres. To save on the extremely high costs of international school fees, in the cities manyexpats choose to enrol their children at a good public school.In Vietnam international schools are a relatively modern phenomenon. Less than 30 years agothe oldest international school in the country was established – but over the past few decadesmany new international schools have emerged to fill a gap in the market and cater for thecountry’s rapidly growing expat population. In Vietnam the most popular international schoolstend to be oversubscribed and there are long waiting lists, so it’s best to make applications assoon as possible.Weather of VietnamThe weather in Vietnam is generally humid and moderately hot -this is what expats will discover.That said, there are large regional variations with the northern area being significantly coolerthan the central and southern areas. Average temperatures range between 22°C (72°F) and27°C (81°F), and humidity is usually upward of 80 percent. The defining characteristic ofweather in Vietnam is the monsoon similar to other countries in the Indo-China area. BetweenMay and October the southeasterly monsoon brings a long, rainy season depending on thelocation; otherwise, when it does occur rainfall is rare and light.
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