Shane Dillon

Shane Dillon

Shane has written the Word business column since 2009. He left his home town of Brisbane, Australia in 2004 and has worked in several Asian countries as well as Guatemala and Ukraine. He is interested in economics and the subtleties of doing business in Asia. Shane works in the insurance industry and can be contacted at

We constantly hear that Vietnam’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is growing at rates of around 5% or 6% a year. In 2014, this reached US$186.2 billion, almost triple what it was in 2006. While this is touted almost universally as being positive, what exactly does this mean? And what is the outlook for 2016?

Tuesday, 05 April 2016 04:17

Dodgy Expats

Mark my words you will see more dodgy expats in Vietnam in the coming years as it starts to become an even easier place to live for foreigners. Over my past 13 years as an expat and eight years in Vietnam I have met some of the best and worst of the expatriate community. Some examples of the ‘dodgy expat’ include; simultaneous multiple wives and children; abandoning long-term girlfriends who become pregnant; ripping off business partners, or plain old-fashioned dodgy drug dealing.

Thursday, 17 March 2016 06:38

Don’t be so Scared in 2016

In my lifetime I have seen the mainstream media morph into an almost non-stop fear generating machine. It would appear that weekly there is a new threat to my imminent safety. I work in the health insurance industry and I have a fairly solid understanding of risk to your well-being, and while it is good advice to heed the wise words I heard in a movie recently — “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst” — this month I have collected some facts that prove the world is not as scary as some would want you to think it is.

Thursday, 11 February 2016 15:28

Expensive Fast Food

As my ample belly will attest I do like to eat and while of late I have tried to eat in a more healthy way, the sweet siren call of fast food (and the growing list of options of in Ho Chi Minh City) is making the battle a difficult one. That being said, over a delicious burger and fries this month I looked into some of the fancier and more expensive fast food options around the world. No surprises — most come from our obese cousins in the US.

Monday, 11 January 2016 08:37

Is it Really Worth It?

I was recently in Hong Kong on a business/golf trip and got to hobnobbing with some pretty ridiculous rich people. Some of their stories of excessive consumption, particularly in the arts, had my jaw dropping. It got me thinking of other things I put little value in, that turn out to be worth quite a bit of coin.

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