The Mercer Quality of Life survey is an important one as it enables governments and MNCs to calculate fair and consistent expatriate allowances. According to a BusinessWeek report Hong Kong is 5 points above the level at which Mercer says hardship allowances should be paid to workers to relocate. A 10% hardship allowance is suggested for expats relocating to Mumbai or Beijing.
Today, as an increasing number of global businesses are turning towards setting up a business presence in Asia. Needless to say, this will also lead to relocation of foreign business professionals and entrepreneurs. One aspect that is often taken into consideration is the quality of life offered by the country that one is planning to relocate to. Although Singapore and Hong Kong score equally high on factors such as ease of company setup, low taxes, stable political regime, and efficient legal system, there is one factor that gives Singapore an edge over Hong Kong – quality of life. Singapore is the perfect business relocation jurisdiction for the following reasons: Setting up a Singapore corporation is quick and easy, Singapore’s low tax system provides tax benefits, companies can gain access to one of the world’s best workforce, and above all it is easy for foreign entrepreneurs and their foreign company staff to relocate to Singapore owing to its excellent quality of life.
Singapore is a westernized, cosmopolitan, and environmentally friendly city. It is a melting pot of cultures where there is respect for all. Singapore boasts of low crime rates and it is one of the safest countries to live in. The wide use of English facilitates business and is widely appreciated by expats. The efficiency of government departments and excellent public transport facilities are noteworthy. Furthermore, the quality of health-care is comparable to Western standards. Singapore is an education hub and educational institutions are world-class. Most importantly, Singapore’s pollution standards are very low. This eco-friendly city has turned into an expat haven in recent years. Singapore was also recently rated as the ‘Best Place to Live in for Asian Expats’ by ECA International.
According to Slagin Parakatil, Senior Researcher at Mercer,
“As the world economy becomes more globalized, cities beyond the traditional financial centres are emerging as attractive places in which to expand or establish a business. Cities in many emerging markets, such as in the Middle East or Asia, have seen a significant influx of foreign companies and their expatriate employees in recent years.”