Tuesday, January 14, 2014

And the best country to be an expat is ...

China and Thailand are the two best countries to be an expatriate, according to a recent study by British bank HSBC that looked at economic opportunities and quality of life for expats in 34 countries.

They're followed by small, rich countries known for their globalized business classes. In descending order, they are: Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, Bahrain and Singapore.

Where could the worst place be as an expat? Egypt, it's xenophobia rose considerably since last summer's military coup as has a wave of populist nationalism. Many don't even want to go on holidays there anymore.

Switzerland has the most favorable economy for expatriates.What a suprise? NOT! That is why it is so difficult to get yourself posted to Switzerland. It's like winning the jackpot.

Although to be honest I wouldn't mind a couple of years in the Cayman Islands or Singapore.

This map shows how the 34 countries compare on economic opportunities and quality-of-life for expats. It does not include the metrics on child rearing. Apparently Germany is the best for raising expat children. I'd argue that.

Bluer countries are better for expats and redder countries are worse:

It seems that Asia's developing economies are very favorable for expat life. Companies in these countries prize expat workers and tend to pay them 15 percent more, the report explains. This, combined with lower costs of living, can give expats much higher spending power than they'd enjoy elsewhere.

A big surprise here may be the countries of Western Europe, which despite their wealth and high standards of living are considered among the worst countries to be an expat, according to the study. The report cites high taxes and costly services. The European Union's ongoing financial problems also mean that salaries are less competitive, particularly compared to the higher cost of living.

So, if you had a choice where would you move to?

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