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How expensive is the Asia Pacific region for expats?

The Asia Pacific region has some of the most expensive expat locations in the world. At number one is Tokyo for the last quarter of 2012, Hong Kong is fifth, Yokohama seventh, Osaka eighth and Nagoya ninth. What makes Tokyo so expensive, and which other cities in Asia Pacific are hot spots on the October 2012 cost of living ranking?

As the most expensive city in Asia-Pacific and the world, Tokyo has an overall COLI of 139.89 compared to New York with an index of 100 followed by Zurich (2nd), Geneva (3rd) and Luanda (4th). °) in the world rankings. .

The historical strength of the Japanese currency, the high population density, the high level of wages and the lack of resources that translate into a high proportion of imports, is what puts Tokyo in this position. Particularly expensive are the following groups of baskets: groceries, health care, housing, and transportation. The reference price in a major international retail store for 1 kg of apples is $ 7.08, 1 kg of boneless skinless chicken breast $ 11.91, 1 kg of cheddar cheese $ 18.22 and 1 liter of whole milk $ 2.73.

Reference prices for a private practice doctor visit for an uninsured patient is $ 125, and a private hospital stay per day that includes nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is $ 3,675. Rent for a secure and unfurnished luxury apartment (3 bedrooms) is $ 6,293 in a central location and $ 3,209 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.

To provide an assignee, sent from a low-cost-of-living country to a more expensive country, with a purchasing power similar to that of your home country, requires an adjustment in your assignment salary. The amount of adjustment depends on the country they come from. The greater the difference in cost of living, the greater the adjustment required to ensure a similar level of purchasing power in the host country.

The most expensive countries for expats in the Asia Pacific area for this quarter are Japan, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Australia and China. While the cheapest is Dushanbe in Tajikistan, which is ranked 766 in the world.

The one that has fallen the most is Tashkent in Uzbekistan, which has fallen to the 474th most expensive position in the world, while Papeete in French Polynesia is the one that has risen the most in the rankings to position 117.

The reason for these moves is that Tashkent has become less expensive for expats to live relative to other global locations. This is mainly due to the depreciation of the Uzbek som against the US dollar over the past year. In September 2011, US $ 1 could buy UZS 1,750, which today has risen to more than UZS 1,920, increasing the purchasing power of expatriates by just under 10% in one year.

Papeetes’ high cost of living is mainly due to the fact that most goods and services are imported at a high cost. Furthermore, the economy is exposed to the global economy due to its heavy dependence on tourism, which has experienced a long decline since 2006 and was exacerbated by the global recession. Groceries and communication are particularly expensive.

The cost of living rankings are published every quarter and measure the comparative cost of living for expatriates in 780 cities, covering every country in the world. The cost of 13 groups of baskets with more than 140 items are compared in each location, these include alcohol and tobacco, clothing, communication, education, furniture and appliances, groceries, health care, housing, personal care, recreation and culture, restaurants- meals out and hotels and transportation.

The following list shows the top 10 overall cost of living rankings in the Asia Pacific area by city:

1. Japan, Tokyo

2. China, Hong Kong

3. Japan, Yokohama

4. Japan, Osaka

5. Japan, Nagoya

6. Japan, Kobe

7. Japan, Kyoto

8. Japan, Kawasaki

9. Japan, Fukuoka

10. Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby

The following list shows the top 10 overall cost of living rankings in the Asia Pacific area by city, excluding the housing, education, healthcare and transportation basket groups:

1. Japan, Tokyo

2. Japan, Osaka

3. Japan, Yokohama

4. Australia, Sydney

5. New Caledonia, Noumea

6. Japan, Kobe

7. Solomon Islands, Honiara

8. Japan, Nagoya

9. Australia, Canberra

10. Japan, Kyoto

Denise McManus, Director of Marketing and Client Services, explains that: “Expats have long known that Tokyo is a very expensive destination. However, it is possible to live within your budget by making sensible decisions, for example we know that Taxis are expensive, so save your money and make use of the train service. There are also many expensive restaurants, particularly those of Western brands, better explore some of the many low and mid-range options. “

New York City is used as the base for the cost of living index rankings and the US dollar is used as the base currency. The cost of living data collected is representative of an expatriate lifestyle, using local prices for fixed quantities of the same good and services at or near each location, and US dollar exchange rates. Prices at each location are affected by availability (that is, supply and demand), as well as local pricing regulations and taxes on goods and services (for example, premiums on luxury items). Local inflation is often representative of local price increases, which in turn affects the purchasing power of expatriates in the host country. The exchange rate affects both the price of imports to the host country and the calculation of the expatriate allowance salary between the home country and the host country. The cost of living has a significant impact on the purchasing power of an expat’s salary package.

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