Friday, July 25, 2008

Expats Living In S'pore Just Loving It: Poll

Source : The Business Times, July 25, 2008

SINGAPORE has been ranked the best place in the world to live in, based on a poll of expatriates.

The Expat Explorer survey for HSBC Bank International revealed that, as well as being top overall, expats rate Singapore best for quality of accommodation and second in terms of luxury living.

The survey was conducted between February and April, with data analysis conducted by Freshminds. It looked at a range of topics relevant to expats' lives, including living standards, an expat's ability to earn and save, a country's popularity and the level of luxury experienced.

On luxury, countries were rated on a number of categories, including access to private healthcare, access to more than one property, and ability to own a pool and to employ staff (such as cleaners).

Across the 11 categories of perceived luxuries, on average, expats reported an increase in eight of these factors, with employing staff ranked as the highest increase.

The United Arab Emirates was the most luxurious destination, with expats enjoying increases in 10 of the 11 categories, followed by Singapore and India.

The UK was ranked the least luxurious with decreases recorded in nine of the 11 luxuries.

The survey polled 2,155 expats in more than 49 countries. However, only countries with at least 30 respondents were analysed in the league tables.

Accommodation is a key concern of expats and almost three-quarters of expats living in Singapore said that the quality of their accommodation had improved since moving away from home, the highest amount recorded in the study.

This was followed by those living in the United States and Belgium.

The UK was identified as the most expensive expat location for accommodation, with over three-quarters of expats living there revealing that their living costs had increased.

In terms of remuneration, expats in Hong Kong (ranked fifth overall) have the world's highest salaries, with almost half earning more than £pounds;100,000 (S$271,000) per annum.

It was found that Europe is a popular destination overall in terms of the length of stay. More than three-quarters of expats now living in the Netherlands have been there for three or more years, followed by Germany and Spain. Hong Kong and Singapore were ranked fifth and sixth respectively.

HSBC head of consumer banking (Singapore) Wendy Lim estimates that there are over 300,000 expatriates residing in Singapore. She said: 'Singapore's safe, tax-efficient environment makes it an ideal location for expatriates to grow and protect their savings and investments.'

Singapore is home to one of HSBC's five offshore banking centres around the world, the others being Hong Kong, Dubai, New Jersey and Miami.

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