World's most expensive city for expats is...

Posted at 12/18/13 10:01 AM

A man stands at the door of an empty electronics and appliances store at a mall in Caracas, Venezuela. Photo by Jorge Silva, Reuters

MANILA, Philippines -- What is the most expensive city for expatriates around the world? No, it's not Tokyo, Japan, which has always topped the list of "most expensive" cities.

Caracas, Venezuela edged Tokyo to top the global list of most expensive locations for international assignees for the first time, according to the latest Cost of Living survey by ECA International.

ECA International, a leading provider of knowledge, information and technology for the management and assignment of employees around the world, said Tokyo still topped the list of most expensive locations in Asia for expatriates. Tokyo dropped to 10th place on the global list due to the weaker yen.

Beijing is Asia's second most expensive location for international assignees, up from 5th position last year. Globally, it ranked 15th, followed by Shanghai (18th globally) and Hong Kong (28th globally).

"Although the Chinese government has allowed the Renminbi to appreciate steadily against the US dollar and food and oil prices in China have been rising, Beijing's jump up the ranking is largely due to Japanese locations becoming so much cheaper because of the weaker Yen,” said Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia, ECA International.

"Nevertheless, living costs in Chinese locations have increased in recent years, making China a more expensive location than some of its neighbors for companies looking to set up operations in the region."

In Asia, Karachi remained the cheapest location in Asia.

The Philippines is one of the cheapest locations in the world, ranking only 33rd most expensive location in Asia and 207th globally.

ECA International's cost of living indices are calculated based on surveys carried out annually in March and September using a basket of day-to-day goods and services.

Top 10 most expensive cities worldwide for international assignees:

1 Caracas, Venezuela
2 Luanda, Angola
3 Oslo, Norway
4 Juba, South Sudan
5 Stavanger, Norway
6 Zurich, Switzerland
7 Geneva, Switzerland
8 Bern, Switzerland
9 Basel, Switzerland
10 Tokyo, Japan

Top 10 most expensive locations in Asia for international assignees:

1 Tokyo (10th global rank)
2 Beijing(15)
3 Nagoya (16)
4 Shanghai (18)
5 Yokohama (20)
6 Seoul (21)
7 Osaka (23)
8 Hong Kong (28)
9 Singapore (30)
10 Guangzhou (38)