Singapore remains the most liveable place in Asia for expatriates: Poll

The conditions in Hong Kong (above), Singapore's long-time rival in the popularity stakes, "have deteriorated a little". -- PHOTO: AFP
The conditions in Hong Kong (above), Singapore's long-time rival in the popularity stakes, "have deteriorated a little". -- PHOTO: AFP
According to a study by human resources firm ECA International, the attractiveness of Singapore (left) to expats stems from factors such as climate, availability of health services, political tensions and air quality. The conditions in Hong Kong (rig
According to a study by human resources firm ECA International, the attractiveness of Singapore (left) to expats stems from factors such as climate, availability of health services, political tensions and air quality. The conditions in Hong Kong (right), Singapore's long-time rival in the popularity stakes, "have deteriorated a little".PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Singapore is still the most liveable place in Asia for expatriates and also the most favoured city in the world for Asian expats, according to a new survey.

Long-time rival Hong Kong has slipped down the rankings by human resources firm ECA International.

Singapore is followed by Adelaide and Sydney in the ranking for Asian expats.

But while Hong Kong holds the No. 6 spot among Asian cities, it fell to 33rd place from 17th globally.

ECA gathers the latest location ratings for expat living conditions annually, and assesses the overall quality of living in more than 450 places worldwide.

Mr Lee Quane, ECA's regional director for Asia, said: "Good air quality, solid infrastructure, decent medical facilities, low crime and health risks have contributed to Singapore maintaining its position at the top of the global ranking for quality of living for Asian assignees."

He noted that Singapore's track record makes "it a very attractive proposition for companies looking to set up in the region, particularly when conditions in Hong Kong have deteriorated a little".

The criteria include climate, availability of health services, political tensions and air quality.

However, the firm noted that the impact of factors such as the differences in culture, language and climate "will vary according to where someone comes from".

Mr Quane added: "Where an employee is going from and to can affect the level of adaptation required on the part of the assignee for some of the factors we measure."

He noted that Singapore ranks at the top for Asians, and has done so for 16 years in a row, but globally, it is 96th for someone from Western Europe, for instance. Hong Kong is also a top pick with Asian expats, but not so globally, as Mr Quane noted the poorer air quality and challenging socio-political environment.

But he said: "Overall it does still remain one of the easier places in the world for an outsider to adjust to living and working in."

rachaelb@sph.com.sg