Singapore voted top expat destination

Author: PM editorial | Date: 06 Oct 2015

Quality of life and career prospects hailed by poll, which finds pay rises matter less to globally mobile employees

Singapore is the best destination in the world for expats, according to a wide-ranging poll of globally mobile staff that saw south east Asia generally emerging as the most desirable region.
 
The HSBC Expat Explorer Survey found four of the top five countries for “work satisfaction” were Asian, as a majority of expats living in The Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and mainland China said their work had been more fulfilling since they relocated.
 
Singapore took first place in more categories than any other country, emerging as best overall for expats to enjoy an excellent quality of life, financial wellbeing and improved career prospects. Expats highlighted its safe environment, confidence in the local economy and the quality of life for children as reasons they were glad they moved to the city-state. Singapore is a significant attraction for expats looking to learn new skills and earn higher salaries. Nearly three in five (59 per cent) said it was a good place for career advancement, while 53 per cent saw the chance to acquire new skills at work as more prevalent than in their home country.
 
Three in ten expats in Singapore work in banking, insurance or financial services, the poll found. That equated to higher earnings and negated some of the effects of a high cost of living. A total of 65 per cent of expats said they enjoyed a greater level of disposable income in Singapore than at home. Singapore is also rated one of the best destinations for quality of life.
 
"Singapore has worked hard to position itself as attractive for business,” said Matthew Colebrook, head of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC. “It is pleasing to see that its economic and political stability and general pro-business approach is being recognised by entrepreneurs globally."
 
Globally, more than three in five (61 per cent) expats admitted they had not seen an immediate increase in their pay packet since their move. They view their time abroad as a long-term investment in their health, skills and life experience. As a result, moving to improve job prospects is only the third most important reason for becoming an expat, followed by being sent by an existing employer and moving for a better climate.