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Taipei slightly less expensive for expats: survey
Central News Agency
2014-06-10 08:55 PM
Taipei, June 10 (CNA) Taipei has become slightly less expensive for expatriates compared with other Asian cities, as exchange rate fluctuations have brought Taiwan's capital down 11 places in global cost of living rankings, according to the results of a survey released Tuesday. According the findings of the latest cost of living survey by ECA International, a London-based human resources consulting firm, Taipei's global ranking has dropped from 78th last year to 89th this year, and its ranking in Asia has also fallen from 25th to 26th. The falling rankings make Taipei more competitive in terms of attracting international business, despite the city's prices of items in an ECA-devised basket of goods and services increasing at a faster rate this year than last year, according to the survey results. "The Taiwanese currency has weakened against the euro and the pound sterling. This has made it more expensive for Taiwanese companies to send staff to Europe, but cheaper -- and a more attractive option within the region -- for many companies in Europe to send staff to Taiwan, provided they are not paying them in Taiwan dollars," said Lee Quane, the ECA's regional director for Asia. ECA carries out two main cost of living surveys each year, in March and September, to help companies calculate cost of living allowances so that their employees' spending power is not compromised while on international assignments. The surveys compare a basket of like-for-like consumer goods and services commonly purchased by assignees in over 440 locations worldwide, which are usually affected by inflation, availability of goods and exchange rates, the ECA said. Venezuela's capital of Caracas is the most expensive place in the world for expatriates, as annual inflation in Venezuela is now over 80 percent and the cost of living in Caracas is currently 40 percent higher than second-placed Oslo in Norway, the ECA said. Tokyo maintains its position as the most expensive Asian location for expatriates, followed by Seoul and Shanghai, according to the ECA findings. (By Jeffrey Wu)
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