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Singapore named best location for expats in HSBC survey

Singapore named best location for expats in HSBC survey

An annual HSBC survey named Singapore as the best location in the world for expatriates to live and work

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12.10.2018 08:25 PM

An annual HSBC survey named Singapore as the best location in the world for expatriates to live and work for the fourth successive year. Singapore beat the likes of Canada, Switzerland and New Zealand.

The banking and financial services giant said that Singapore “packs everything a budding expat could want into one of the world’s smallest territories.” The Lion City ranked third for economics and featured in the top six for both “families” and “experience.” The report noted that many who arrive purely for business reasons end up staying longer due to the vibrant surroundings and quality of life.

While Singapore leads the way overall, expats can earn higher salaries in Switzerland, the United States, Hong Kong and China. Expats in Singapore earn around US$162,000, which is higher than the global average. More than a quarter of the 500-plus respondents living in the region said that the desire to take on a new challenge prompted their move.

Expats in Switzerland receive the most pay with a US$202,900 average salary, which is almost twice as high as the global average. However, the larger pay packet reflects the greater cost of raising children and difficulty in establishing and maintaining a social circle of friends. Switzerland ranked eighth on the list overall.

People looking to move abroad will be pleased to hear that expats earn an additional US$21,000 in income on average. Almost half said that their current job pays more internationally. Just over a quarter said that they chose to move to a new country to take up a job after receiving a promotion.

In Singapore, 45% of expats said that a desire to progress their careers prompted their move, which is ahead of the global average of 35%. Meanwhile, 38% wanted to earn more, which is again higher than the world average of 24%. Singapore offers a unique balance of work and life benefits that make it an ideal choice for those looking to relocate.

Buying property in Singapore is a sticking point for some, as 50% said that they have not been able to do so due to budget constraints and have instead bought a home in their own country. This does not appear to be a major issue, however, as 45% revealed that they are able to save enough to buy a property. The global average is 33%.

In terms of personal lives, Singapore also excels. Almost half of expats said that they have found a long-term partner since their move. Families are also content, with 60% of expat parents believing that their children’s health and well-being has improved compared to when they lived in their home countries. This is way above the global average of 45%. Nearly six in ten have also been able to start saving for retirement.

"It comes as no surprise that Singapore continues to be an expat draw-card,” HSBC Bank (Singapore) Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management Anurag Mathur said. “It’s well-established international trade and investment links, mature financial markets and strong economic growth make it an ideal home base for business owners and career-focused professionals to tap the growth opportunities in Asia.”

He added: "But the real kicker is the lifestyle. When adding it together, while 19% were initially sent by their employer, almost half (47%) chose to stay in this safe, well-organized city for its lush, vibrant surroundings and the great quality of life it offers them and their family."

Elsewhere, Sweden came out on top for families, while Spain, New Zealand and Taiwan were in a three-way tie for offering the best “experience.” The latest Expat Explorer survey took in the views of 22,318 expats.

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