Thursday 19th April 2012

Picture of Singapore

A new research study suggests that Singapore is the best city in the world for Asian expatriates.

ECA International revealed their annual rankings of Asia’s most livable cities this week and named Singapore as the most livable city for Asian expatriates. The survey, which ranked 44 cities throughout the world on a number of factors, including infrastructure, air quality and crime rates, placed Singapore at the top of the list of locations in Asia, followed by Sydney and Adelaide in second and third.

The ECA rankings are compiled on an annual basis and are aimed at assisting companies to set appropriate relocation packages for expatriates who are relocated within Asia. The underlying premise of the study is that the more livable a given location is, the less companies will need to pay employees to lure them to accept an overseas position there.

“When a location has good air quality, excellent infrastructure and health care facilities, low crime and health risks — all the attributes Singapore offers — companies are likely to provide just a low allowance, or none at all,” commented Lee Quane, regional director of ECA International in a statement.

Baghdad, Kabul and Port-au-Prince were listed as the world’s least livable cities for Asian expats and Tokyo and Yokohama fell in ranking from the previous year’s results:

“When a natural disaster occurs, infrastructure, utilities, availability of goods are all likely to be impacted for the worse and this is what we have seen in these two locations,” Quane said.

Jakarta scored low on the Asian cities list, coming in 38th out of 50, below Phnom Penh and New Delhi (both 36), but above Yangon (40) and Surabaya (41).

Elsewhere Hong Kong fell behind rival Singapore in the rankings due to the air quality in the city, which is now among the worst in the world.

Commenting on Hong Kong’s fall in rankings, Quane said: “Air pollution remains a major issue.

"(Hong Kong) has the third worst score for this of any Asian city after Beijing and New Delhi, and is up among some of the worst locations in the world for air quality including Santiago, Mexico City and Cairo."

Quane, who is based in Hong Kong, told Reuters that while Singapore has overtaken the former British territory in terms of the cost of living, he does not believe that the higher expenses will be borne by employers: "Companies are less likely to provide location allowances to attract people to accept a posting in Singapore," he said.

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