Hong Kong, Singapore remains top choice for job relocation

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According to Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey five Asian cities made it in this year’s top 10: Hong Kong (2), Tokyo (3), Singapore (5), Seoul (6) and Shanghai (8).

The survey findings showed Asian, African, and European cities dominate the list of most expensive locations for working abroad.

It also showed the following:

  • Rankings of most Asian cities changed – currency is the key contributing factor
  • All Chinese cities surveyed fell in the ranking except Tianjin (12)which climbed 18 places
  • Mumbai leaped 25 places this year due to rapid economic growth, inflation and stable currency

“Commenting on the Mercer 2017 Cost of Living Survey rankings, Mario Ferraro, Global Mobility Leader for Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA), Mercer, said: “Although a number of Asian cities remain amongst the world’s most expensive cities, key financial hubs such as Hong Kong and Singapore still continue to attract talent and remain a top choice for relocation.

“Although this year’s movements were due mainly to currency fluctuations, in particular against the US dollar, we did see cities – such as Mumbai – move up the ranks due to their strengthening economy and growing opportunities.”

In its Asia Pacific section, it said in a rapidly changing world, mobility has become a core component of multinational organisations’ global talent strategy.

To support the growing number of international assignees working in an increased number of locations, organisations are focusing on evaluating assignments from a cultural perspective, preparing for regional and lateral moves, and modifying compensation approaches to stay competitive.

As organisations grapple with these challenges, they are working hard to accommodate the needs of their workforce and to support employees’ careers.

Multinational organisations are carefully assessing the cost of expatriate packages for their international assignees.

Mercer’s 23rd annualCost of Living Survey finds that factors like instability of housing markets and inflation for goods and services contribute to the overall cost of doing business in today’s global environment.

Hong Kong (2), which dropped from the top spot, is the most expensive city in Asia as a result of its currency pegged to the US dollar, which drove up the cost of accommodations locally.

India’s most expensive city, Mumbai (57), climbed twenty-five places in the ranking due to its rapid economic growth, inflation on the goods and services basket and a stable currency against the US Dollar.

This most populous city in India is followed by New Delhi (99) and Chennai (135) which rose in the ranking by thirty-one and twenty-three spots, respectively. Bengaluru (166) and Kolkata (184), the least expensive Indian cities, climbed in the ranking as well.

Elsewhere in Asia, Bangkok (67) jumped seven places from last year. Jakarta (88) and Hanoi (100) also rose in the ranking, up five and six places, respectively. Karachi (201) and Bishkek (208) remain the region’s least expensive cities for expatriates.

Australian cities have all experienced further jumps up the global ranking since last year due to the strengthening of the Australian dollar. Sydney (25), Australia’s most expensive city for expatriates, gained seventeen places in the ranking along with Melbourne (46) and Perth (50) which went up twenty-five and nineteen spots, respectively.