Singapore again tops ranking of most liveable city for Asian expats, Hong Kong slides lower

The skyline of Singapore's central business district seen in a photo taken on Jan 9, 2019.
The skyline of Singapore's central business district seen in a photo taken on Jan 9, 2019.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Singapore is the most liveable city for Asian expats for the 14th year in a row, according to a survey by human resources consultancy ECA International.

Lee Quane, Asia regional director for ECA International, said: "Several factors make Singapore the ideal location, such as access to great facilities, low crime rates, good quality healthcare and education, as well as a large expat population already living in Singapore.

"Although many cities in Asia offer similar benefits to overseas workers, Singapore remains the top location, and it does not look like it will drop in the rankings any time soon."

Hong Kong slid 12 places to joint 41st, after disruption and damage caused by Typhoon Mangkhut in September 2018. While there was no loss of life, ECA noted that the cost of damage to buildings and infrastructure amounted to an estimated US$1 billion.

Air pollution saw the territory fall to 29th place in 2017 and 28th in 2016, accelerating Hong Kong's steady slide since its best showing at 11th place in 2013.

In contrast, Chinese cities like Beijing, Nanjing and Xiamen have been rising in the liveability rankings on rapid improvements to infrastructure, despite excessive levels of air pollution negatively impacting the quality of life. ECA noted that Chinese authorities in recent years have introduced measures to combat air pollution, which have translated into improvements in their rankings.

The majority of Malaysian and Thai locations also rose in the liveability rankings. Bangkok was the highest rated Thai city at 89th place, while George Town and Kuala Lumpur rose to 97th and 98th respectively.

Outside of Asia, cities in Australia and New Zealand offered the best quality of living for Asian workers, with Brisbane and Sydney joint second in the rankings.