10 reasons why expats should base a start-up in Ho Chi Minh city
Ho Chi Minh city (also known as Saigon) is widely seen as the most economically dynamic metropolis of Vietnam, the land of opportunities and innovation. It has also been chosen by many expats as the base to build their start-up. We have collected in this article 10 reasons why Ho Chi Minh city is truly an ideal destination for foreign entrepreneurs.

1. Strategic location

Located right in the heart of the Southeast Asia, Ho Chi Minh city is seen as a gateway to other potential markets such as the Southeast Asian regional market and the vast Chinese and Indian markets. The convenient location of Ho Chi Minh city will help you save a lot of time and money for transportation if you run a start-up here.

2. Good infrastructure for online business

Good infrastructure for online business

Ho Chi Minh city boasts a well-developed infrastructure for online business. The Internet is quite fast and reliable. The online payment system works efficiently as well. Malcolm G., General Director of the Urban Environments Design Project group said: “The take-up of mobile/online/e-commerce business is the fastest in Asia, as online payment/bank payment progresses doing online business here is a no-brainer”.

3. Low operation cost

Low tax rates and low establishment cost are two factors that drove Sean C., founder of NZ Immigration, to start his start-up in Saigon. The cost to hire skilled local staff here is not as high as in other big cities in the region. You can also enjoy a decent quality of life at very reasonable prices.

4. The economic center of Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh city makes a contribution of over 20% of the country’s GDP.  It is home to over 3000 foreign representative offices from 60 countries and territories. Its economic growth outpaces other major cities in Vietnam and therefore becomes the most attractive investment location for foreign investors.

5. Lots of potential industries and markets

"There are plenty of industries and markets to be tapped here", said Jamine M., a WordPress plugin developer in Saigon. There are segments that are not occupied yet and therefore have low competition. Being able to work closely with manufacturing partner is another big reason why he based his start-up in Ho Chi Minh city.

6. A young and culturally-Westernized city

Ho Chi Minh city has around over 8 million people, with over 50% of the population is under 35. Many of the young people in Saigon are highly trendy and much influenced by the Western culture. They are generally a big fan of well-known international brand products with highest quality and most affordable prices.

7. An excellent start-up culture

An excellent start-up culture

Ho Chi Minh city is the hub of most of Vietnam’s start-up activities, a land for innovation and opportunities. It also has a booming start-up culture, a good climate and a solid entrepreneur community. Start-up communities in Ho Chi Minh city often organize weekly and monthly events, where they meet up and share their innovative ideas.

8. A big pool of local talents

As the economic hub of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh city as a high concentration of young talents, who are ambitious, well-educated, open-minded, comfortable with trying new ideas and sharing experiences. Moreover, “Vietnamese people agree to work for small companies and projects easily”, said Lucas L., co-founder & general manager of the Saigon-based FLO'S French Perfumes.

9. A well-connected network of entrepreneurs

A well-connected network of entrepreneurs

According to Lucas L.,Ho Chi Minh city has a good network of entrepreneurs with many services to help expats. Expats in Saigon can take part in many different events to keep up-to-date of the latest trend and knowledge in their field and connect with other entrepreneurs. For example, Startup Grind Ho Chi Minh City hosts monthly start-up events to teach, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs.

10. The construction of Saigon Silicon City

In 2016, Ho Chi Minh municipal authorities have kicked off the establishment of Saigon Silicon City inside District 9’s Saigon High-Tech Park. When completed, Saigon Silicon City will become a smart urban area with the infrastructure and amenities to attract both local and international hi-tech enterprises, said Nguyen Minh Hieu, the chairman of Saigon Silicon City JSC.

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