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Singapore keeps top spot in expat survey, HK slips

Good news for the weekend from Reuters for those living in Singapore.  It has retained its status as the best location for expatriates in Asia while Hong Kong has fallen behind Tokyo because of bad air pollution, an annual survey released on Wednesday shows.

Singapore was ranked the best location for the 10th straight year, followed by Japanese cities Kobe, Yokohama and Tokyo, according to the survey by London-based ECA, which ranks cities by climate, air quality, health services, housing and personal safety, among other categories.

“Good infrastructure and healthcare facilities, low crime and health risks, and decent air quality contribute to Singapore providing the best quality of living for Asian assignees,” said Lee Quane, Asian director of ECA International, which advises on expatriate packages and allowances.

The survey aims to help companies establish expat allowances. Companies may be seeking to slash expat packages during the global economic downturn but ECA said only a handful of cities in Asia offer expatriate staff a good standard of living.

Most of the 49 Asian locations ranked remain challenging for one reason or another, and therefore, warrant high location allowances, it said.

Top 12 Asian locations for expatriates: (last year’s rankings in brackets)

1. Singapore (1)

2. Kobe, Japan (2)

3. Yokohama, Japan (3)

4. Tokyo (5)

5. Hong Kong (4)

6. Taipei (6)

7. Macau (7)

8. Kuala Lumpur (9)

9. Bangkok (8)

10. Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia (9)

11. Shanghai (11)

12. Seoul (12)


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