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Singapore third most expensive country in Asia for expatriates

Singapore named sixth most expensive city and third most expensive country in Asia.


The high cost of living in Singapore was was explained by the continued strength of the Singapore dollar against major currencies.

It is now more expensive for international assignees to live in than Hong Kong, New York, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Shanghai. Goods and services commonly purchased by international assignees now cost almost 3% more in Singapore than in Hong Kong. Just a year ago, they cost 5% more in Hong Kong than Singapore.

Lee Quane, regional director for Asia and ECA International, said the increase in currency value was driving changes in company remuneration for employees.

“The Singapore dollar has risen by more than 10% against the greenback between surveys, for example, and allowances paid to protect the purchasing power of employees on long-term assignment in the city are now higher than those paid to international executives posted to many other financial centres including Hong Kong, London and New York.”

In the global ranking, cities in Japan, Norway, Switzerland and Angola achieved positions in the top ten most expensive cities worldwide.

Tokyo remained the most expensive location in Asia and globally for international assignees. Seoul joined Japanese locations at the top of the ranking driven by a combination of price increases in the Korean capital and ongoing strengthening of the won against the US dollar.

Little change was seen in China but Hong Kong’s drop in the ranking means it is only marginally more expensive for international assignees than Beijing and Shanghai.

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