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KL and JB still don’t cut it for Asian expats

KUALA LUMPUR (April 13): Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru both remained outside the global top 100 list of most liveable locations for Asian expats in the 2017 Location Ratings Survey conducted by international knowledge, information and software provider ECA International.

Updated annually, the survey measures the quality living conditions for Asian expats in over 470 locations around the world based on the level of difficulty the expatriate will experience in adapting to a new location.

Factors evaluated include climate; availability of health services; housing and utilities; isolation; access to a social network and leisure facilities; infrastructure; personal safety; political tensions and air quality.

In the latest survey, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru both continue to sit outside the global top 100 and regional top 25. 

Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru ranked 118th and 128th in the global list, and 27th and 31st in the regional list, respectively.

“In recent years, we have seen an increased threat from terrorism in Malaysia. While the Sabah region of the country is considered particularly dangerous for foreigners, risks have also increased in Kuala Lumpur in recent years. The impact of the seasonal forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia has also increased in recent years,” said ECA International’s Asia regional director Lee Quane.

Meanwhile, the survey also showed Singapore remaining the world’s most liveable location for Asian expats.

“Singapore continues to sit above its regional rivals in our global liveability rankings. With low crime rates, decent medical facilities and excellent infrastructure, it comes as no surprise why Singapore tops our rankings time and time again,” said Quane.

However, the gap has closed between the remaining global top 10 and Singapore over a five-year period, with cities in Australia and Japan improving in terms of their overall liveability for Asian expatriates.

“We have witnessed a gradual decline in Singapore’s overall quality of living in the past five years due to the deteriorating air pollution situation here, while cities such as Brisbane, Sydney and Osaka have all improved in terms of their overall liveability,” said Quane.

The survey showed Australian locations dominating the regional and global top 10 rankings.

“Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney occupy joint second place in both sets. Perth 7th, and Canberra 9th join them at the top of the global rankings. In the Asia-Pacific region, the most notable climb in the rankings was Australia’s Darwin. The city rose from 24th place to 15th place in the global rankings as its housing situation has improved. Over the past five years, Darwin has climbed 39 places in our global rankings,” the survey reads.

Osaka has the best living conditions out of all locations researched in Japan, and is ranked 5th globally. All Japanese cities included in the rankings are positioned inside the global top 15 with Nagoya in at 9th; Tokyo and Yokohama sit in joint 11th position.

Top 35 most liveable locations in Asia Pacific for Asian expatriates

 

Asia Pacific Rank

Global Rank

Location

Regional 2017

Regional 2016

Gloval 2017

Global 2016

Singapore

1

1

1

1

Adelaide

2

2

2

2

Brisbane

2

5

2

5

Sydney

2

2

2

2

Osaka

5

2

5

2

Wellington

6

5

6

5

Nagoya

7

7

7

7

Perth

7

7

7

7

Canberra

9

9

9

9

Tokyo

10

10

11

11

Yokohama

10

10

11

11

Melbourne

12

12

13

13

Auckland

13

13

15

15

Darwin

13

14

15

24

Hong Kong

15

15

29

28

Christchurch

16

16

55

59

Taipei

17

17

69

71

Busan

18

18

76

76

Macau

19

19

82

81

Seoul

20

20

96

93

Kaohsiung

21

21

102

102

Ulsan

22

22

104

103

Shanghai

23

23

107

110

Bangkok

24

24

111

111

Chiang Mai

25

25

112

112

George Town

26

26

115

117

Kuala Lumpur

27

27

118

120

Beijing

28

28

121

123

Suzhou

29

28

125

123

Nanjing

30

30

126

127

Johor Bahru

31

30

128

127

Bandar Seri Begawan

32

32

129

129

Guangzhou

33

34

130

133

Xiamen

33

33

130

131

Dalian

35

36

135

140

Source: ECA International

Top 10 most liveable locations globally for Asian expatriates

Location

Global rank 2017

Singapore

1

Adelaide

2

Brisbane

2

Sydney

2

Osaka

5

Wellington

6

Perth

7

Nagoya

7

Canberra

9

Copenhagen

9

Source: ECA International

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