Vol. 5 Num 263 Tue. February 22, 2005  
Front Page

Singapore best Asian city, Dhaka worst
States survey

Singapore has edged out Tokyo and Hong Kong as the best city in Asia for expatriates to live, according to a survey by a human resource group released yesterday, while Dhaka is the worst.

Singapore's wide use of English was one key factor for the tropical city-state's top billing, ECA International, a global membership organisation for human resources professionals, said after releasing its survey.

ECA's Hong Kong general manager, Lee Quane, said high quality transport, communications and health facilities, low health risks and low crime rates were other factors that made Singapore most attractive to foreigners.

"Although it boasts an excellent infrastructure, the added benefits of its cosmopolitan outlook and the extent to which English is spoken make it a very easy location for an expatriate to assimilate into," Quane said in a statement.

Singapore also shaded Tokyo and Hong Kong in the crucial area of air pollution, Quane said, while the Japanese capital further lost out because of its susceptibility to earthquakes.

In order from number four to 10, the other most livable Asian cities for expatriates were: Macau, Kuala Lumpur, Bandar Seri Begawan, Taipei, Bangkok, Seoul and Beijing.

At the other end of the scale, the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka won the gong for the least livable city, just ahead of Karachi.

"Dhaka is plagued by instability and poor infrastructure and the strains upon foreigners are increasing," the findings of the survey said.

The survey ranks 38 cities according to categories that include climate, prevalence and impact of natural disasters, health facilities and risks, transportation, accommodation standards, education, recreation, and crime.