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Expat survey shows Singapore best place in the world for Asians to live

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Source: www.eca-international.com

Singapore the best place in the world for Asians to live, says ECA Int'l
High living standards make Singapore the most favourable place in the world for Asians to live according to the latest Location Ranking Survey on expatriate living conditions by ECA International, the world¡¯s largest membership organization for international human resources professionals, serving a global network of over 4000 HR professionals in 1500 companies in 35 countries.
Singapore claims the top spot because it offers residents a good quality of living, scoring favourably in most categories.
High quality infrastructure and health facilities, combined with low health risks, air pollution and crime rates make it a very desirable location in which to live.
And the cosmopolitan make-up of Singapore adds to its appeal.
Kobe is the only other Asian city ranked in the top 10, ranked fifth behind Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. Making up the top 10 are Auckland, Copenhagen, Vancouver, Wellington and Basel.
Yokohama and Tokyo are the other Asian locations to feature in the top 20, ranked 11th and 14th respectively. They are followed by Hong Kong (32), Taipei (60), Macau (64), Bangkok (69) and Kuala Lumpur (72). Shanghai, 89th in the global ranking, is considered the best Chinese city for Asians to live, beating Beijing because of its more favourable climate and lower levels of air pollution.
Baghdad came out as the worst location to live, followed by Kabul and Karachi. Their position at the bottom of the rankings is largely due to the high risk to personal safety and lack of adequate infrastructure and facilities.
Culture, language and proximity to an expatriate¡¯s home country also affect the overall scores which are used by ECA member companies to establish allowances which compensate expatriate staff for the difficulties of living in their assignment location.
¡°Although Singapore is top for Asians, it comes in at only 58 for Western Europeans. Although still a great place to come to, distance from home, differences in culture, language and climate all make it harder to live here than Basel, for example, which comes top for Europeans," explained Lee Quane, General Manager of ECA International in Hong Kong.
Movers and shakers
Quality of living is on the up in most Chinese cities, with Xi¡¯an showing the greatest annual improvement although it remains the worst-ranked of all the Chinese cities covered by ECA¡¯s survey.
Infrastructure, health facilities, goods and services, recreational facilities and housing are the areas that are seeing the biggest improvements across the country. However, locations in China still have a long way to go before they offer residents the same living standards afforded to residents in Singapore and Japan, with high levels of air pollution a particular complaint amongst expatriates.
Scores for Phnom Penh and Vientiane have also improved this year, as they have done for the past couple of years. Both have seen a growth in the expatriate community in recent years as they have become more open to foreign investment.
Hong Kong dropped down the rankings this year falling from 20th to 32nd. Its fall is due to an increase in the levels of air pollution, with the number of hazy days rising every year as polluted air from an increasingly industrialised Guangdong province affects the city. An increase in the levels of air pollution caused by forest fires on Sumatra contributed to Kuala Lumpur slipping 11 places this year. Flash-flooding and landslides also affected its overall hardship score.
¡°It isn¡¯t all good news for Asia,¡± said Quane. ¡°Although Singapore is ranked the best city in the world and many Asian cities recorded improvements in their score, only five Asian locations make the top 50. This shows that living conditions in most Asian cities is lower than those in their European and North American counterparts. What¡¯s more, the drop experienced by Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur shows that the rapid pace of development in Asia, which is attractive to so many people, is also having a detrimental impact of living conditions through by-products such as pollution.¡±
ECA¡¯s biggest ever location ranking survey scores 257 locations worldwide according to categories that include climate, prevalence/impact of natural disasters, health facilities and risks, transportation, the quality and availability of goods and services, accommodation standards, education, recreation, crime and socio-political climate.
Culture, language and proximity to an expatriate¡¯s home country also affect the overall score. The scores are then used by ECA member companies to establish allowances which compensate expatriate staff for the difficulties of living in their assignment location.
About ECA International
ECA International is the world¡¯s largest membership organisation for international human resources professionals, serving a global network of over 4000 HR professionals in 35 countries.
The leading provider of online data, software solutions and advice for more than 1500 international companies, ECA¡¯s innovative approach has been providing cost-effective solutions to international HR management since 1971. For more information, please visit http://www.eca-international.com.
About ECA¡¯s Location Ranking Survey
The Location Ranking Survey is carried out on an annual basis. The rankings above and below are made by comparing the factors listed above for 257 locations worldwide on an Asian base.
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The best locations in the world for Asians to live

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2005 Rank Location
1 Singapore - Singapore
2 Australia - Sydney
3 Australia - Melbourne
4 Australia - Canberra
5 Japan - Kobe
6 New Zealand - Auckland
7 Denmark - Copenhagen
8 Canada - Vancouver
9 New Zealand - Wellington
10 Switzerland - Basel
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The most difficult locations in the world for Asians to live

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2005 Rank Location
257 Iraq - Baghdad
256 Afghanistan - Kabul
255 Pakistan - Karachi
254 Algeria - Algiers
253 Haiti - Port-au-Prince
252 Angola - Luanda
251 Palestine Territories - Ramallah
250 Mauritania - Nouakchott
249 Uzbekistan - Tashkent
248 Sudan - Khartoum
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The best locations in Asia for Asians to live

2005 Rank Location
1 Singapore - Singapore
2 Japan - Kobe
3 Japan - Yokohama
4 Japan - Tokyo
5 Hong Kong - Hong Kong
6 Taiwan - Taipei
7 Macau - Macau
8 Thailand - Bangkok
9 Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur
10 Thailand - Chiang Mai

Source: www.eca-international.com Press Release 3 Apr 2006

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