MANAGEMENT

How to Protect Your Purchasing Power on Foreign Assignment

If you’re company is sending you to an assignment outside your country, make sure you know what the cost of living is in that city. Your company should provide you with cost of living allowances so you do not lose out.

Of course, if you are sent to a cheaper location, you will gain in terms of cost of living expenses even without those allowances – although your quality of life might suffer a bit and, in extreme cases, you might have to be extra careful because of security risks.

If your new assignment is Hong Kong and your home assignment is Singapore, make sure to ask for a cost of living allowance. Hong Kong is now Asia Pacific’s most expensive location for expatriates

In Hong Kong, Ask for More

ECA International is a provider of knowledge, information and software for the management and assignment of employees around the world. Companies use its cost of living surveys to decide on how much to provide in cost of living allowance (or if it is provided at all) to ensure an employee’s spending power is maintained on international assignment.

This allowance will be affected by differences in prices as well as exchange rate movements between that employee’s home and host countries.

If your new assignment is Hong Kong and your home assignment is in Singapore, for example, make sure to ask for a cost of living allowance. According to ECA’s latest Cost of Living survey, Hong Kong is now Asia Pacific’s most expensive location for expatriates.

From a global perspective, it has climbed seven places to become the second-most expensive location for expatriates – its highest ever rankings on both fronts.

On the other hand, Singapore, seen as Hong Kong’s rival financial and business center in Asia, is ranked tenth most expensive in Asia and 24th globally. Tokyo, formerly No. 1 in Asia, drops one rung to second place regionally and is ranked seventh most expensive globally.

Shanghai, Beijing and other Chinese cities have become cheaper as well, falling 1-5 rungs in the ranking. But Taipei is up 12 spots to No. 14, from No. 26 a year ago.

Most Expensive Places to be an Expat in Asia

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