I recently had the opportunity to meet Guillaume Rondan at a Networking event in Vietnam. A French young entrepreneur based in Ho Chi Minh City has decided to help expatriates and retirees who wish to come and live in Vietnam.
Guillaume told me that he loved his life here, but that it was not always easy:
“I faced several problems when I had to open a local company, find a reliable health insurance, open a bank account and declare my personal taxes in Vietnam.”
After he shared me a part of his life, the challenges he faces, I wanted to write down his story and share it to you. Here are the notes I took during our conversation :
- Why did you choose Vietnam to live in ?
I discovered Vietnam during a road-trip on motorcycle when I ride for one month all along the country with a friend. The food is amazing, people are very friendly, there are plenty of opportunities for business and work. I really love it and after a few months back to my hometown in France, I decided to come back and settle down there. My job allowed me to travel a lot at the time, so I packed my bags two years ago … and now I’m still here.
- Do you miss France?
I don’t miss France very much. I come back to my hometown in France two times a year to meet up with my family and friends, but I am even happier when they come to visit me in my new « adoptive » country. When I miss French food, I go to a good French restaurant to spend a gorgeous dinner: the cost of living is very low so it’s not very expensive and I don’t need any more.
- What is your current project in relation with Vietnam?
After facing some issues regarding to incorporated a companies, opening a business, taxation rules and investments : I noticed that there was a lack of information on these subjects. Vietnam is such a booming country that receives a lot of tourists every year. Many expatriates also come to work or retire there as the country is so attractive. Then I decided to open a service to support them in the early stage of their immigration for visa, finding apartment, getting a strong health insurance. I am right now expanding it to more complex situations about getting married, law inquires, business creation, investment subjects and more …
- So you created a website to share your tips right ?
Yes, this project involve the site MovetoAsia.com with a lot of content and guides dedicated to expatriates in French and English to help foreigners in their early stage arriving in Vietnam. Subjects would be for instance :
- Health insurance and recommended hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City
- How to open a bank account to minimise withdrawal fees
- How to find work with or without diplomas
- Which visas allow you to retire in Vietnam
- French and international schools for kids of expats
The site offers all this information for free but some more confidential information is available on e-books to download.
- Why do you offer e-books on MovetoAsia.com?
Some topics cannot be shared publicly. For example, when it’s about dealing with sensitive subjects such as taxation, business creation, marriage, investment, apartment purchase or personal taxation, it is better to share those informations offline on a book that the reader can digest, print and follow as a step-by-step plan. Right now, I provide PDF guides to download that cover some of these topics. In the following weeks, I plan to refer to some trustworthy person I met in Vietnam and professionals I worked with (lawyer, tax expert, chartered accountant…)
- What is the future for your project on expatriation?
Since I launched the site a few months ago, many retired people, young students, entrepreneurs contacted me to ask for information because they want to come and live in Vietnam. I will release a Youtube channel to share life experiences in Vietnam: interviews and testimonials from retirees living in remote cities, young workers who have chosen Vietnam to get experience abroad, investors who buy apartments or plots of land, entrepreneurs who have businesses related to Vietnam…
Thank you for this interview Guillaume, we wish you good luck with this project.