Global consulting firm ECA International recently picked the 20 most expensive Asia-Pacific cities for expatriates to live in. Shanghai topped the list, followed by Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo.
Shanghai ranked third last year, and climbed two notches this year. Beijing rose from fourth to second place, while Seoul fell from first to fourth place. Busan and Ulsan ranked 10th and 17th, respectively.
Eleven out of the 20 cities are in China, including Guangzhou (sixth), Shenzhen (seventh), Macao, Dalian, Suzhou, Chengdu, Nanjing and Tianjin. “This is because of the appreciation of the Chinese currency with respect to other currencies,” the consulting firm explained, adding, “Expatriates’ costs of living in these major Chinese cities are likely to continue to go up for the time being.”
Likewise, Chinese cities accounted for one-fifth of the 30 most expensive cities around the world, exceeding each of the numbers of those in Switzerland and Japan on the list. It is Zurich that topped the list this year, and followed by Geneva, Bern and Basel. Luanda, the capital city of Angola, fell from first to fifth.