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Thread: Singapore is best city for Asian expatriates to live: survey

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    Default Singapore is best city for Asian expatriates to live: survey


    Singapore is best city for Asian expatriates to live: survey
    Gillian Wong
    Associated Press
    Tuesday, 4 March 2008, Singapore Time

    Singapore has topped a list of cities around the world offering Asian expatriates the best quality of life, followed by Sydney, a survey from a human resources consultancy said Tuesday.

    U.K.-headquartered ECA International's annual location ranking, which compares living standards in 254 international locations, found that Singapore is an ideal place for Asians to live in because of the quality of its infrastructure and health facilities.

    The city-state's low health risks, air pollution, crime rates and cosmopolitan population added to its appeal, Lee Quane, ECA International's general manager in Hong Kong, told The Associated Press.

    Quane noted, however, that while Singapore scored consistently well in most of the 15 categories used to asses each location, it saw a deterioration in some factors.

    "Air pollution in 2007 was slightly higher than 2006, primarily due to the haze in 2007," Quane said. Haze from forest fires in neighboring Indonesia has become a major problem Singapore, where air quality levels have worsened every year during the dry season.

    Sydney came in second, followed by Melbourne, Australia, and Kobe, Japan, which tied for third place in the ranking that combines data collected by ECA International with results of a survey of expatriates.

    While Sydney and Singapore scored similarly well in criteria such as pollution levels, the quality of goods and services available, transport and infrastructure, the Australian city's geographical distance from Asia made it a less favorable location than Singapore, Quane said.

    "For Sydney, Japanese or Chinese assignees will have to travel relatively long distances, and so it's much more difficult to maintain contact with family," Quane said. He added that cultural differences were also a factor.

    The fifth-best city for Asian expats was Copenhagen, Denmark, the survey found, followed by Canberra, Australia (6th), Vancouver, Canada (7th), Wellington, New Zealand (8th), Yokohama, Japan (9th) and Dublin, Ireland (10th).

    Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong and Tokyo were tied at 15th place.

    Hong Kong made improvements in personal security and healthcare infrastructure but air pollution was likely to remain a problem, Quane said.

    "People feel safer in Hong Kong than they have in recent years," he said. "But looking at the main reason why Hong Kong still lags behind Singapore is the issue of air pollution."

    Quane noted, however, that Hong Kong scored better than Singapore in one respect: the media.

    "In news and media, we regard Hong Kong as much more free and fair than in Singapore," he said.

    The survey showed that Baghdad, Iraq, remains the least favorable place to live for Asian expats, followed by Kabul, Afghanistan and Karachi, Pakistan, because of the high risk to personal security and lack of suitable facilities for expatriates.

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    Default Re: Singapore is best city for Asian expatriates to live: survey

    Singapore is most liveable city in Asia

    Europeans and Americans view country as best in region while Asians say it is world’s top spot.

    The Straits Times

    Wednesday, 5 March 2008

    Singapore has hit another home run with expatriates - Europeans and Americans reckon it is the best place in Asia to live, while Asians say it is the top spot anywhere in the world.

    The annual survey, which has a major influence on luring foreign talent, compares living standards in 254 locations across the globe.

    For the sixth straight year, Asian expatriates have named Singapore as the best city worldwide for quality of life.

    Its fine infrastructure and health facilities, cosmopolitan population, and low health risks and crime rates scored the Republic plenty of points among those surveyed, according to the poll by human resources consultancy ECA International.

    Singapore trumped the Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne, which were ranked the second and third most attractive places worldwide for Asians to call home .

    Europeans and Americans were also sold on Singapore, ranking it as their preferred choice in Asia, although on a global scale, they opted for Copenhagen. The Danish capital also ranked as the fifth best place worldwide for Asians to live in.

    About 1,500 companies globally buy the report, so the ranking can greatly influence hiring policies.

    ECA recommends that companies do not need to pay any ‘hardship’ allowances to their workers assigned to Singapore. This allowance, which can comprise up to 30 per cent of an expat’s salary, is paid to workers in countries where the standard of living is lower than in their home base.

    The more comfortable the location, the lower the allowance and Singapore’s is set at zero.

    However, there were some negatives this year with scores for air quality in Singapore hit by the smoke haze.

    The Republic’s score for availability of quality accommodation also declined slightly, primarily due to the collective sale fever which has ‘reduced the supply of decent-standard accommodation in Singapore, irrespective of cost’, said Mr Lee Quane, ECA International’s general manager.

    This narrowed the gap between Singapore and other locations such as Hong Kong, which jumped eight places in the rankings to No. 4 on the list of Asian cities with the best quality of life for Asians.

    Hong Kong’s scores improved, thanks to significantly better scores for personal security.

    Mr P.Maran, an Indian national in his 40s working for a technology multinational firm here, said Singapore was ‘by far the best place for Asians to live as it is safe, clean and is closer to home than other locations such as Australia’.

    But he noted that the cost of such high-quality living comes at a price. ‘The cost of everything from rental to transport to children’s education is shooting up,’ he said.

    While this survey did not rank Singapore in terms of cost of living, an ECA study last November showed that the Republic rose 10 places in a global survey of the most expensive places for expatriates to live.

    But despite the jump, Singapore, at No. 122, is still significantly cheaper for expats than Hong Kong and other key global centres, such as London - at No. 10.

    Popular choices Top 10 locations in the world for Asians to live

    1. Singapore
    2. Sydney (Australia)
    3. Melbourne (Australia)
    3. Kobe (Japan)
    5. Copenhagen (Denmark)
    6. Canberra (Australia)
    7. Vancouver (Canada)
    8. Wellington (New Zealand)
    9. Yokohama (Japan)
    10. Dublin (Ireland)

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