World's Least and Most Expensive Cities for Expats 2014

BANGALORE: Economic Intelligence Unit’s worldwide cost of living report has come out. And, the crown goes to two of the Asian cities-Mumbai for being the cheapest city to live in and Singapore for being the costliest city in the world. The survey which is conducted twice a year takes into account the prices of 160 products and services such as food, drinks, clothing, home rent, transport, utility bills, domestic help and recreational activities. It also takes into account high-end products and services such as, imported cheese, Burberry-type raincoats, filet mignon, three course high-end dinners for four people and four best seats in a theatre. The Economic Intelligence Unit says this about the purpose of the survey, “The survey itself is a purpose-built internet tool designed to help human resources and finance managers calculate cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expatriates and business travelers.”

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Singapore: Singapore ranks the most expensive city in the world and the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) describes this as an ‘unenviable’ title.The Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Singapore, Tharman Shanmugaratnam reacted strongly to the report in his budget speech, clarifying this report is for the expatriates and not applicable for the locals. He also opined that the report wouldn’t discourage companies from sending expats to Singapore as they’ll also consider what Singapore has to offer. The strong Singaporean dollar and inflation are the major factors that add to the ‘costly’ tag of Singapore. Being a city-state, it is dependent on other countries for natural resources, which is the reason for high utility costs. In addition, Singapore is world’s most expensive city if you want to drive a car owing to the high certificate of entitlement fees.

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