Working in Ho Chi Minh City

Responsible for up to a quarter of Vietnam's GDP, Ho Chi Minh City is alive with opportunity for both expat and domestic job seekers. It is a fast-growing city with an equally fast-growing job market, particularly for those seeking employment in the IT, building, engineering and construction fields. There are also a fair amount of NGO and teaching jobs available in the city.

Job market in Ho Chi Minh City

While many expats are transferred to Ho Chi Minh City to take up a particular position, those who arrive in the city wishing to look for a job shouldn’t find this to be too difficult. Ho Chi Minh City’s labour market is steadily expanding.

However, as the Vietnamese government has focused on ensuring that Vietnamese have priority over jobs, employment conditions for foreign workers have become increasingly strict. For instance, foreign companies operating in Vietnam are expected to ensure that no more than three percent of their staff are expats, and multinationals are entitled to a maximum of 50 foreign employees. The Vietnamese authorities have taken such measures to encourage companies to train their local employees to replace foreigners in the future.

Large and small companies in Ho Chi Minh City require their expat employees to have at least some knowledge of both English and French. The biggest hurdle when conducting business in Ho Chi Minh City is wading through government regulations and requirements. As Vietnam is a socialist republic it is important to ensure that all records, contracts and agreements are in line with government stipulations.

Finding a job in Ho Chi Minh City

Expats looking for employment in Ho Chi Minh City can begin by trawling the internet and the classified sections in local newspapers. Recruitment agencies can also offer some assistance in helping foreigners with specialist skills find employment within their particular field of work. Furthermore, foreign chambers of commerce in Vietnam can also be a great source of information when it comes to finding connections and employment opportunities in the city.

Work culture in Ho Chi Minh City

The Vietnamese have a healthy work ethic; they work incredibly hard but also know that working in subtropical conditions is tiring. Communal lunches are an important part of the working day, as is getting to know colleagues over an after-work drink.

It is essential that expats have a business or work visa before starting work in Vietnam and that employers have registered their expat employees as taxpayers. Expats are advised to ensure that their payslip clearly shows that tax is deducted from their monthly salary.

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