Singapore, Thailand, Philippines top Asian expat destinations

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Singapore expatsExpat resource website InterNations has revealed the best – and worst – places for expats globally. Their annual “Expat Insider” study aims to rank destinations on a wide range of metrics including job satisfaction, career prospects, work-life balance, political stability and personal safety. Combining all the scores provided by expats in each country allows InterNations to create a “league table” of the best places for expats.

Within Asia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines (ex Middle East, where Bahrain is favoured) are ranked best.

However, Ecuador once again takes the title for the best expat destination globally, offering as it does stunning pristine countryside, a surprisingly low cost of living and excellent stability and safety. Ecuador also boasts an enviable climate that is liveable year-round, and a healthcare service that many expats rate very highly indeed.

topexpatdestinationsSecond place goes to Mexico – up from position three last year. Once again Mexico benefits from a pleasant climate with enough diversity that most expats can find an area suitable for them. With the deep blue seas, long sunny days and sandy beaches, not to mention a seemingly never-ending supply of historic monuments to visit, Mexico has a lot to offer expats.

It is perhaps the number three position which offers the greatest surprise to anyone that has been following this study for the last few years. Malta has proudly been announced as the third best destination for expats; truly an impressive feat for a country that didn’t even feature on the list a few years ago.

Malta was particularly commended for the job satisfaction and career prospects enjoyed by expats living in this Mediterranean idyll. Expats also report the ease with which they settled into their new home, with many reporting no major problems communicating in English (rather than the native Maltese language).

As always, it would be remiss of us not to examine those countries which fared less well. While the InterNations study only examines expat life in 64 countries around the world, it is Kuwait which came very bottom. Here expats found it particularly difficult to integrate with the local population. Kuwait also sadly scored poorly on the quality of life area.

Second to bottom – at position 63 out of 64 countries studied – comes Greece. This should hardly be surprising due to the economic turmoil being experienced in the country. The austerity measures mean that unemployment rates are high (and job security is low). Equally, expats report that the costs of living are comparatively high, leading to a low quality of life.

Nigeria ranks third from bottom, which is surprising when one considers what an economic powerhouse this dynamic African nation is becoming. Sadly there are numerous niggles reported by expats, including poor personal security and national infrastructure. Political stability is also a major concern for many expats.

InterNations’ results, however, differ considerably from another study, the Expat Explorer country league table, commissioned by HSBC Expat and now in its eighth year.

Expat_Explorer_Balancing_life_abroad_global_infographicThe bank asked experts in 39 countries to share their views on everything from career and financial wellbeing to quality of life in comparison to their previous home. Under these different metrics, Singapore came first in this list, followed by New Zealand, Sweden, Bahrain and Germany. Within East Asia, the prosperous city state is followed by Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.

“The income situation and quality of life in a country like Singapore is usually quite good, but there are other components that also influence your expat life,” explained InterNations founder Malte Zeeck. “Something we value very highly is how friendly locals are towards foreigners and how easy it is to settle in. This can be very different in countries like Ecuador or Mexico than it is in a place like Switzerland, Germany or Singapore.”Indeed, in some instances among the top 10 destinations in HSBC’s study, expats did not feel they were integrating well into the local culture or with local people. In the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland, nine and 10 on the HSBC ranking, only 42 per cent and 43 per cent, respectively, felt they were integrating well. And despite its top spot, only 54 per cent of expats in Singapore said they enjoyed immersing themselves in local culture.

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Expat resource website InterNations has revealed the best – and worst – places for expats globally. Their annual “Expat Insider” study aims to rank destinations on a wide range of metrics including job satisfaction, career prospects, work-life balance, political stability and personal safety. Combining all the scores provided by expats in each country allows InterNations to create a “league table” of the best places for expats. Within Asia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines (ex Middle East, where Bahrain is favoured) are ranked best. However, Ecuador once again takes the title for the best expat destination globally, offering as it does...

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Singapore expatsExpat resource website InterNations has revealed the best – and worst – places for expats globally. Their annual “Expat Insider” study aims to rank destinations on a wide range of metrics including job satisfaction, career prospects, work-life balance, political stability and personal safety. Combining all the scores provided by expats in each country allows InterNations to create a “league table” of the best places for expats.

Within Asia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines (ex Middle East, where Bahrain is favoured) are ranked best.

However, Ecuador once again takes the title for the best expat destination globally, offering as it does stunning pristine countryside, a surprisingly low cost of living and excellent stability and safety. Ecuador also boasts an enviable climate that is liveable year-round, and a healthcare service that many expats rate very highly indeed.

topexpatdestinationsSecond place goes to Mexico – up from position three last year. Once again Mexico benefits from a pleasant climate with enough diversity that most expats can find an area suitable for them. With the deep blue seas, long sunny days and sandy beaches, not to mention a seemingly never-ending supply of historic monuments to visit, Mexico has a lot to offer expats.

It is perhaps the number three position which offers the greatest surprise to anyone that has been following this study for the last few years. Malta has proudly been announced as the third best destination for expats; truly an impressive feat for a country that didn’t even feature on the list a few years ago.

Malta was particularly commended for the job satisfaction and career prospects enjoyed by expats living in this Mediterranean idyll. Expats also report the ease with which they settled into their new home, with many reporting no major problems communicating in English (rather than the native Maltese language).

As always, it would be remiss of us not to examine those countries which fared less well. While the InterNations study only examines expat life in 64 countries around the world, it is Kuwait which came very bottom. Here expats found it particularly difficult to integrate with the local population. Kuwait also sadly scored poorly on the quality of life area.

Second to bottom – at position 63 out of 64 countries studied – comes Greece. This should hardly be surprising due to the economic turmoil being experienced in the country. The austerity measures mean that unemployment rates are high (and job security is low). Equally, expats report that the costs of living are comparatively high, leading to a low quality of life.

Nigeria ranks third from bottom, which is surprising when one considers what an economic powerhouse this dynamic African nation is becoming. Sadly there are numerous niggles reported by expats, including poor personal security and national infrastructure. Political stability is also a major concern for many expats.

InterNations’ results, however, differ considerably from another study, the Expat Explorer country league table, commissioned by HSBC Expat and now in its eighth year.

Expat_Explorer_Balancing_life_abroad_global_infographicThe bank asked experts in 39 countries to share their views on everything from career and financial wellbeing to quality of life in comparison to their previous home. Under these different metrics, Singapore came first in this list, followed by New Zealand, Sweden, Bahrain and Germany. Within East Asia, the prosperous city state is followed by Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.

“The income situation and quality of life in a country like Singapore is usually quite good, but there are other components that also influence your expat life,” explained InterNations founder Malte Zeeck. “Something we value very highly is how friendly locals are towards foreigners and how easy it is to settle in. This can be very different in countries like Ecuador or Mexico than it is in a place like Switzerland, Germany or Singapore.”Indeed, in some instances among the top 10 destinations in HSBC’s study, expats did not feel they were integrating well into the local culture or with local people. In the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland, nine and 10 on the HSBC ranking, only 42 per cent and 43 per cent, respectively, felt they were integrating well. And despite its top spot, only 54 per cent of expats in Singapore said they enjoyed immersing themselves in local culture.

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