Hanoi, HCM City listed Asia's most expensive cities
Hanoi and HCM City are amongst the 50 most expensive locations in Asia, according to a recent survey by the British assignee consulting firm ECA International.
In the ECA's Cost of Living Survey issued on December 7, Hanoi takes the 41st place, and HCM City, 43th, in the list of the most expensive locations in the region for international assignees.
For the second consecutive year, Tokyo remains the most costly location both regionally and globally, with the Japanese yen remaining strong and rising by 20 percent compared to the US dollar for the last twelve months, the survey shows.
Three other Japanese cities, including Nagoya, Yokohama and Kobe, also take the next three top positions.
Singapore stands at the sixth place, while other expensive locations in the top ten are Seoul and Busan of Korea, and Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai of China.
Pakistan's Karachi comes at the bottom of the regional ranking.
ECA International's cost of living indices are calculated based upon surveys carried out annually in March and September using a basket of day-to-day goods and services
The data is used by ECA clients to calculate cost of living allowances for assignees, such as dairy produce, meat and fish, miscellaneous goods, services, clothing, and meals out.
Certain living costs such as accommodation, utilities such as electricity, gas, and water costs, car purchase and school fees are not included in the survey since they can make a significant difference to expenses, the survey states.
According to ECA, the last 12 months have seen considerable increases in the cost of food, oil and other commodities in many parts of the world.
Prices have risen by over 8 percent in Asia, while the figure in Vietnam is 14.2 percent, making the country one of the locations which has seen the biggest increases in the local prices of items in ECA's basket of goods and services.
"While in locations like Singapore, price inflation has worked alongside exchange rate movements to push a location up the cost of living ranking, in other cases currency fluctuations are still outweighing the impact of inflation," Lee Quane, Regional director, Asia for ECA International, said in statement.
"For example, despite dramatic price increases in Vietnam, the devaluation of the dong earlier this year has caused locations there to drop down the ranking. So while locals will see their costs going up, the spending power of assignees will have increased due to the effect of exchange rates."
Tuoi Tre - December10, 2011