Singapore becoming a more expensive place for expats, much to Hong Kong’s delight

There's long been a heated battle between Hong Kong and Singapore, with both cities claiming rights to being the Asian "hub" of everything from tourism to sport. But the rivalry took another twist this week - for something neither might want to boast too much about.

A cost-of-living index this week for the first time claimed that Singapore was a more expensive place than Hong Kong for expat workers to live.

Compiled twice yearly by the human resources consultancy ECA International ( http://www.eca-international.com), the index showed that Singapore has moved to sixth place in terms of cost of living for expats in Asia, up from ninth last year and passing old foe Hong Kong, which moved down one place to seventh.

In Singapore the spin on the result was a positive one - as local media pointed to the strength of the local dollar against foreign currencies as being the reason for the rise and pointing out that also meant that Singapore companies sending their staff overseas were now paying less to maintain a high standard of living for their employees.

In Hong Kong, the media played up the fact that their city was now a more attractive place for international firms to send their workers - as it was cheaper. And they provided the quotes to back their claim up.

"It could be seen as bad news for Singapore, losing its competitive edge - which is what people in Hong Kong had been worried about. It's now Singapore's turn," Lee Quane, regional director for ECA Asia, was quoted as saying.

The report looks at the cost of goods and services likely to be in demand by expats - such as dinner at a restaurant, wine and even imported pasta - and it was first instigated by ECA International in September 2009.

Singapore was the highest mover in the region's top 10, which was again dominated by Japanese cities, with Tokyo coming out not only as the most expensive place in the region but as the world's most expensive place for expats, according to ECA International's global listing.

As has been the case with the Singapore currency, the strength of the Swiss franc has seen Zurich make a major move in the global top 10, rising to sixth from last year's 10th, while the Angolan city of Luanda dropped from third to seventh in another major move.

Asia's top 10 most expensive cities for expats (last year's ranking in brackets):

1 (1) Tokyo

2 (2) Nagoya

3 (3) Yokohama

4 (4) Kobe

5 (5) Seoul

6 (9) Singapore

7 (6) Hong Kong

8 (8) Beijing

9 (7) Shanghai

10 (10) Busan

World's top 10 most expensive cities for expats (last year's ranking in brackets):

1 (1) Tokyo, Japan

2 (2) Oslo, Norway

3 (4) Nagoya, Japan

4 (6) Stavanger, Norway

5 (5) Yokohama, Japan

6 (10) Zurich, Switzerland

7 (3) Luanda, Angola

8 (9) Geneva, Switzerland

9 (7) Kobe, Japan

10 (11) Bern, Switzerland

MS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

    £18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

    £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own