Recent report published by ECA International has ranked three Malaysian cities, namely Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and George Town among the world’s cheapest places for expatriates. The research, focusing on the latest cost of living in cities across the world, also includes Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), Yangon (Myanmar) and Karachi (Pakistan) in the list of most inexpensive locations for expats to live.
In the report’s statement, ECA International regional director-Asia, Lee Quane said the research findings highlight the curiosity of managing the movement for many companies and their human resource departments who wish to move their people to Asia. He added that Asia is known as the home to some of the world’s both most expensive and cheapest locations to live, whose level of variety is only matched in Africa.
Six mentioned cities make up the cheapest locations in Asia, with all these locations falling in ECA’s global rankings over the past 12 months, Bernama reports.
On the other hand, Tokyo remains the most expensive place for expats in the Asia Pacific region. Malaysia’s southern neighbour, Singapore has dropped out of the 20 most expensive cities in the world for expats. This year, Singapore ranks 21st out of over 260 cities, the lowest position it as featured since 2014. Its ranking has dipped five places since 2016, having been surpassed in the top list by cities such as Tel Aviv and Copenhagen.
Regarding to this finding, Mr Quane stated that European currencies have performed very strongly over the past 12 months, outpacing many other currencies in the world, including the Singapore dollar. Owing to this reason, it resulted in Singapore tripping down the rankings slightly while some of more expensive European cities rising above it in the table.
ECA International, provider of knowledge, information and software for the management and assignment of employees around the world, has been conducting research into cost of living for over 45 years. It initiates two cost of living surveys per year to help companies calculate cost of living allowances in countries across the globe, so that their employees’ spending power is not compromised while on international assignment.
The surveys compare a basket of like-for-like consumer goods and services commonly purchased by assignees in 470 locations worldwide. Certain living costs, such as accommodation rental, utilities, car purchases and school fees are usually covered by separate allowances. Data for these costs are collected separately and are not included in ECA’s cost of living basket.