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Economy December 18, 2018 01:00



Singapore has returned to the global top 20 most expensive locations for expats as the 18th most expensive city in the world for expatriate workers. 

Within Asia, Singapore is the 9th most expensive location.

This was one of the findings of the latest Cost of Living survey published by ECA International, the world's leading provider of knowledge, information and software for the management and assignment of employees around the world.

In 2017, Singapore was the 21st most expensive city in the world for expatriates, up from 16th in 2016. Its 9th position within Asia remains unchanged since 2016.

“The Singapore dollar has performed strongly this year, resulting in a slight rise in Singapore’s rankings, up 3 places to become the 18th most expensive location in the world,” said Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia for ECA International. “Singapore has long been considered one of the most expensive cities for expats to live and work in and this looks set to continue. However, the cost of living is still below that of other Asian locations with large expatriate populations such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Shanghai.”

ECA International has been conducting research into cost of living for more than 40 years. 

Thai cities were among the biggest risers in the rankings, with Bangkok rising 32 places and entering the top 100 most expensive locations for the first time.

Quane said: “Over the past five years, Bangkok has climbed more than 80 places. The Thai capital now sits in 90th place in our cost of living rankings. The Thai baht has strengthened in recent years, as the economy has expanded and the political landscape has stabilised. 

“This means that Thai locations are now significantly more expensive for expat workers than they have been in the past.”