Thu, Jun 12, 2014 - Page 5 News List

Taipei cheaper for expats: poll

Staff writer, with CNA

Taipei has become slightly less expensive for expatriates compared with other Asian cities, as exchange-rate fluctuations have seen the nation’s capital fall 11 places in the global cost of living rankings, according to the results of a survey released on Tuesday.

According the findings of the latest cost of living survey by ECA International, a London-based human resources consulting firm, Taipei’s global ranking has dropped from 78th last year to 89th this year, and its ranking in Asia has also fallen from 25th to 26th.

The fall makes Taipei more competitive in terms of attracting international business, despite the prices of items in an ECA-devised basket of goods and services increasing at a faster rate this year than last year, the survey showed.

“The Taiwanese currency has weakened against the euro and the pound sterling. This has made it more expensive for Taiwanese companies to send staff to Europe, but cheaper — and a more attractive option within the region — for many companies in Europe to send staff to Taiwan, provided they are not paying them in Taiwan dollars,” ECA International regional director for Asia Lee Quane said.

ECA carries out two main cost of living surveys each year, in March and September, to help companies calculate cost of living allowances so that their employees’ spending power is not compromised while on international assignments.

The surveys compared a basket of like-for-like consumer goods and services commonly purchased by assignees in more than 440 locations worldwide, which are usually affected by inflation, availability of goods and exchange rates, ECA said.

Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, is the most expensive place in the world for expatriates, as annual inflation in Venezuela is now more than 80 percent and the cost of living is 40 percent higher than second-placed Norwegian capital, Oslo, ECA said.

Tokyo maintained its position as the most expensive Asian location for expatriates, followed by Seoul and Shanghai, the survey showed.

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