Singapore is best expat destination in Asia, says HSBC survey

Lunchtime crowd and expats crossing Robinson Road in the CBD area on 2011. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Lunchtime crowd and expats crossing Robinson Road in the CBD area on 2011. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore is the best destination in Asia for expatriates, and second in the world, according to a survey by HSBC Expat.

Switzerland took the No. 1 spot in the list of top 10 destinations, followed by Singapore, China, Germany and Bahrain.

New Zealand, Thailand, Taiwan, India and Hong Kong rounded up the list.

The survey drew responses from 9,300 expats from over 100 countries, including 344 respondents from Singapore, who shared their experiences of life abroad.

Expats feel that Singapore provides them with good career progression, financial wellbeing and quality of life, the survey report said.

A majority - 64 per cent - of expats polled said they have enjoyed a higher disposable income since moving to Singapore, beating the global average of 53 per cent.

Singapore also scores well as a desirable place for expats to raise children, in terms of education and healthcare. This despite 87 per cent of expats saying that it is more expensive to raise children here than in their homelands.

However, expats do agree that life in Singapore is expensive. More than three-quarters of expats pay more for their accommodation here than they did at home. More than half of those polled also spend more on groceries, healthcare and utilities than in their home countries.

The survey also revealed that China has the largest proportion of high-earning expats in the world, with nearly two-fifths, or 38 per cent, earning over US$200,000 (S$254,244) a year - three times higher than the global average of 11 per cent.

In Singapore, 16 per cent of expats earn over US$200,000 a year.