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Singapore is now the 19th most expensive location for expatriates globally.
According to ECA International’s latest Cost of Living survey, the city-island jumped up by 12 places, beating cities such as New York and Copenhagen.
The study compared a basket of like-for-like consumer goods and services commonly purchased by expatriate assignees in over 440 locations worldwide.
South Sudan’s Juba led the list as the most expensive city for expatriates worldwide, followed by Luanda in Angola and Zurich, Switzerland.
The ranking attributed Singapore’s rise in the global rankings mainly to a strong currency.
“Although, like many currencies, the Singapore dollar has weakened against the US dollar between annual surveys, it strengthened against a number of other major currencies,” said Lee Quane, regional director, Asia, ECA International.
“Assignees having been relocated from one of these locations into Singapore are likely to require a higher cost of living allowance in order to maintain their spending power.”
Within the Asia Pacific region, however, Singapore maintained its 9th place in the ranking.
Shanghai was listed as Asia Pacific’s most expensive location for expatriates for the first time, followed by Seoul, Beijing and Hong Kong respectively.
Hong Kong, in fact, was also found to be more expensive on a global scale, having leapt from last year’s 29th position to 12th place.
The report highlighted prices of items in ECA’s basket rose more than 3% in Hong Kong over the year.
“With the US dollar, to which the HK dollar is pegged, strengthening against a number of currencies over the past year, the SAR has become more expensive for many businesses sending assignees there. For example, the cost of living gap between Singapore and Hong Kong, it is a less appealing proposition for those sending employees into the region who may consider alternative, cheaper locations,” said Quane.
Here are the most expensive locations for expatriates this year: