Tue, Dec 10, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Taipei 14th costliest Asian city: survey

Staff writer, with CNA

The cost of living in Taipei is lower than that of other regional business hubs, making the city more attractive to international businesses, a survey by consulting firm ECA International showed.

Taipei ranked as Asia’s 14th most expensive for international assignees, down from 13th last year, the survey showed. Globally, the city placed 69th, slightly lower than its position compared with the same period last year.

Greater Kaohsiung ranked as the 19th most expensive city for expatriates in Asia and 110th across the globe.

“The cost of living in Taipei for international assignees has actually increased slightly since last year — but not as much as certain other cities in Greater China and the region,” ECA Asia regional director Lee Quane said.

“As a result, Taipei has not risen up the ranking since this time last year. Potentially, this makes Taipei a more attractive location for international businesses,” he said in the survey.

Quane said there are signs that Taiwan’s economic growth, which has been fairly sluggish, is set to improve next year, due partly to government stimulus measures aimed at boosting tourism, promoting innovation and liberalizing foreign investment regulations.

While Tokyo still topped the list of the most expensive locations in Asia for expatriates, worldwide it fell to 10th place because of the Japanese yen’s depreciation — which has fallen significantly compared with last year when Tokyo ranked as the most expensive city in the world for expatriate staff, the survey showed.

During the same period, most major cities in China have become more expensive. Beijing is now Asia’s second-most expensive location, up from fifth place last year. Globally, Beijing is the 15th most expensive location for expatriates.

Shanghai ranked fourth in Asia and 18th worldwide, while Hong Kong placed eighth in Asia and 28th in the world, the poll showed.

To assist companies with their calculations of expatriate employees’ pay packages, ECA carries out two cost of living surveys each year, comparing a basket of like-for-like consumer goods and services commonly purchased by assignees in 440 locations worldwide.

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