Singapore rightfully claimed its position as the most habitable city for Asian expatriates for the 14th consecutive year, according to a new survey.
A number of factors were cited for having contributed to the Republic’s enduring appeal, a few of which include: “access to great facilities, a low crime rate, good quality healthcare and education, as well as a large expat population already living here,” as stated by the Asia Regional Director for ECA International, Mr Lee Quane. ECA International is the human resources consultancy that compiles the annual league table.
“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,” Mr Lee Quane added.
Singapore’s claim to fame was also aided by the rapid downfall of its greatest rival, Hong Kong. After the disruption caused by the Typhoon Mangkhut last September, Hong Kong went down by 12 places to joint 41st. Typhoon Mangkhut, as was later revealed, had caused a damage of estimated US$1 billion (S$1.35 billion).
Hong Kong has been experiencing a steep downfall since it held its peak position of 11th in 2013. In 2016, it went down to 28th and the next year, in 2017, it dropped a notch to 29th due to air pollution.
On the other hand, Chinese cities like Beijing, Nanjing, and Xiamen have shown immense progress and potential in the livability rankings due to rapid improvements in terms of infrastructure, in spite of factors like excessive air pollution remaining static.
However, the Chinese authorities have introduced new measures in recent years, allowing the nation to prevent and combat air pollution problems. This has also significantly contributed to the upliftment of their global ranking in terms of livability.
Other than China and Singapore, cities in nations like Thailand and Malaysia have also seen improvements in their livability, contributing to their improved ranks. Bangkok, a high-rated Thai centre, was recently moved to the 89th rank, while George Town and Kuala Lumpur proceeded to the 97th and the 98th spots, respectively.
Non-Asian countries like New Zealand and Australia also played a vital role in improving their quality of living for Asian workers, with Sydney and Brisbane holding a joint 2nd ranking.
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