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Expats Vote Singapore, Copenhagen Top Places: Survey

Reuters – November 19, 2008

SINGAPORE – Asian expatriates have ranked Singapore as the best place to live in the world for its safe and clean environment, while Europeans chose Copenhagen, a survey showed on Tuesday.

Asian expats chose Singapore over Hong Kong (15th place) and Shanghai (78th place) and placed Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra as well as two Japanese cities Kobe and Yokohama in their top ten list of favorite locations, said ECA International, a human resource consultancy for multinationals.

Lee Quane, general manager of ECA International, said that Singapore’s solid infrastructure, low crime rate and clean air made it a favorable place to live.

“While Hong Kong has seen an improvement in some categories, such as personal security, air pollution remains the biggest cause for its lower rankings relative to Singapore,” Lee said in a statement.

Singapore is competing with Hong Kong as a location for banking and financial services.

For locations in China and India, Shanghai and Chennai (138th place out of a total of 300 locations) came in top for Asian expats, said the annual survey.

European expats ranked Copenhagen as their top choice to live in the world. They placed three Swiss cities — Geneva, Basel and Bern — and three German cities — Dusseldorf, Bonn and Munich — in their top ten.

East European cities such as Bratislava and Bucharest have made improvements in this year’s survey because of advances in security, housing and health, the survey said.

European expats rated Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, as their 20th choice and Romania’s capital of Bucharest in 14th place.

In the Middle East, Manama, the capital of Bahrain, ranked top in the region along with Dubai and Muscat. Baghdad, in last place globally, lost marks for poor security, the survey said.

Top 10 best locations in the world for Asian expats:

1) Singapore – Singapore

2) Australia – Sydney

3) Japan – Kobe

4) Australia – Melbourne

5) Denmark – Copenhagen

6) Australia – Canberra

7) Canada – Vancouver

8) Japan – Yokohama

9) New Zealand – Wellington

10)Ireland – Dublin

(Reporting by Melanie Lee, editing by Neil Chatterjee)

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