In terms of GDP, Hanoi is currently one of the fastest growing cities in the world. The services sector in Hanoi is expanding rapidly, and the number of businesses which take part in foreign trade is going up as well, with exports growing every year.
Agriculture, which used to be the cornerstone of Hanoi’s and the surrounding countryside´s economy, has taken a back seat over the past 20 years, but is looking to make a recovery by modernizing the techniques used by farmers.
Hanoi is not the economic hub of the country, leaving that accolade to Ho Chi Minh City, but it is working hard to catch up, and is growing at a much faster pace.
The arrival of more international trade in the city also offers options for more expatriate jobs in Hanoi. The younger generations are particularly fluent in English, but schools still welcome foreign teachers as a good selling point.
Professional jobs for foreigners are thin on the ground as with the rest of the country. Because speaking Vietnamese is essential here, working in the professional sector is uncommon for expatriates in this city.
Along with the obvious choice of teaching English, there are options for volunteering for international organizations in Hanoi. Expats and travelers who are passing through or simply staying in the city for a few months, fruit picking is still an option.
Volunteering opportunities include working with children with special needs, supporting women’s shelters or working for non-governmental organizations. International Volunteer HQ is a good website to begin looking for volunteer positions; this organization has new projects starting in Hanoi every month.
A work permit is essential for any expatriate looking to move to Hanoi. It is important to remember that Vietnamese work permits are specifically approved for individual cities.
A skills certificate, a criminal record check and a medical check are all necessary for the work permit application. This can be acquired either from your home country, or once you are in Hanoi, as long as it is taken care of before you have been in the country for 90 days.
The costs for the work permit vary for different nationalities, but if you are moving to Hanoi to work or volunteer, your employer or the organization that you are volunteering for will need to sponsor your application. Moreover, your employer may pay for it as part of the terms of your employment.