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Hong Kong ranked third-most expensive location for expats

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Hong Kong has dropped one place to the third-most expensive cities in Asia for expatriate workers to live. It has also remained the sixth-most expensive location in the world.

ECA’s recent cost of living survey has revealed that Hong Kong is now behind Ashgabat (the Turkmenistan capital) and Tokyo in Asia.

“Hong Kong’s place in the rankings has remained stable this year with the city continuing to be the sixth-most expensive location in the world for expatriates” said Lee Quane, regional director Asia for ECA International.

“Despite the ongoing socio-political upheavals and the fact that the economy is in recession, we have yet to see a real impact in the cost of living in the city. Indeed, Hong Kong has only been overtaken by Tokyo due to the strong performance of the Japanese yen throughout 2019, which has moved many Japanese cities up the rankings.

“We expect prices in Japan to increase further owing to the recent increase in consumption tax while next year’s Olympics in Tokyo are likely to have further inflationary effects. As such, we expect Tokyo to remain above Hong Kong into 2020,” Quane added.

Meanwhile in mainland China, many cities surveyed by ECA have fallen slightly in the rankings due to the weakening yuan against major currencies over the past year.

“While rising pork prices have pushed up costs for many Chinese households in the past 12 months, the impact on cost of living for expatriates in Chinese cities versus their peers elsewhere has been limited as pork tends to be less popular among most expatriates and because of the weakness of the currency,” Quane said.

Macau continues to move up the rankings from 25 last year to 18, while Taipei, Taiwan’s most expensive city, has remained static in 31st place.

Read more on Asia and Global highlights:  10 most expensive locations in Asia: Singapore falls to 7th place

Top ten most expensive locations – Asia

Location 2019 Asia ranking 2019 global ranking 2018 global ranking
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 1 1 1
Tokyo, Japan 2 2 8
Hong Kong 3 6 6
Yokohama, Japan 4 8 15
Nagoya, Japan 5 10 17
Osaka, Japan 6 11 19
Singapore 7 13 18
Seoul, South Korea 8 16 7
Macau 9 18 25
Shanghai, China 10 22 14

Top ten most expensive locations – Global

Location 2019 ranking 2018 ranking
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 1 1
Tokyo, Japan 2 8
Zurich, Switzerland 3 3
Geneva, Switzerland 4 2
Basel, Switzerland 5 4
Hong Kong 6 6
Bern, Switzerland 7 5
Yokohama, Japan 8 15
Tel Aviv, Israel 9 11
Nagoya, Japan 10 17


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