Planning to be an expatriate, head north !
It may not be very surprising with increasing economic might Nepal’s northern neighbour China is the best country to be an expatriate, according to a study by a British bank HSBC.
“China and Thailand are the two best countries to be an expatriate, said the Expat Explorer survey that has assessed economic opportunities and quality of life for expats in 34 countries.
China is followed by Germany, Singapore, the Cayman Islands and Australia, whereas the worst among the 34 countries to be an expat is Egypt, the study reported. Likewise, France, Spain, the UK, Italy and Ireland are, according to the report, too expensive for expats.
China, Thailand or developing Asian economies are better for those expats who don’t want to have kids there, it revealed, adding that Germany is better for those who have kids as the study looked at metrics gauging the suitability of raising children as expats in 24 of the total 34 countries. “Incorporating the data on child rearing abroad along with the economic and quality-of-life measurements, China ranks first overall followed by Germany and Singapore,” said the study concluding that Germany is the best country to raise expat children, whereas Thailand provides the best work-life experience for expats, and Switzerland has the most favourable economy for expatriates. “Salaries for expats are unusually high in the German-speaking countries and expenses are lower than in the rest of the Europe due to export-driven economic growth.”
Companies in Asia’s developing economies pay expat workers more, and with lower costs of living, the expats have higher spending power than they would have elsewhere, it said, adding that expats in East and Southeast Asia also tend to report that their social lives become more active.
Asia is home to among the highest paid expats in the world, revealed the survey, where average expat remuneration packages are at least 15 per cent higher than the global average – $74,000 per annum, compared to $64,000 elsewhere.”
In Asia, the highest proportion of expats earning more than $250,000 are located in Indonesia (22 per cent), Japan (13 per cent) and China (10 per cent) compared with a global average of just three per cent, it added. “Comparatively, the lowest-paid expats live in Europe, where average salaries are $53,000 annually. Within Europe, a significant proportion of expats in Spain and Italy earn less than $60,000 per year (83 per cent and 82 per cent respectively) compared to the global average of 65 per cent.”
The findings also revealed that Thailand emerges as a favourable destination for expats looking for both quality life and improved financial status. “As well as taking top spot in the Expat Experience league tables, the country also ranks top for the Disposable Income criteria,” it said, adding that upon relocation, expats in Thailand are more likely to say they have greater disposable income, with nearly eight in ten expats (76 per cent) witnessing an improvement compared with the global average of 49 per cent. The  trend is also mirrored elsewhere in the region where a large proportion of expats in Taiwan (64 per cent) and Vietnam (64 per cent) report similar experiences.
However, most of the middle eastern countries, where Nepali migrant workers flock to, tend to be worse places for expats due to tough legislation in the host countries, the report added. “The exceptions are Bahrain and Qatar, two very wealthy and very small Persian Gulf states that tend to attract the wealthy expats, according to the HSBC report that has revealed that despite their wealth and high standard of living Western European countries are considered among the worst countries to be an expat also due to high taxes and costly services. Though, Western European countries rank highly for child rearing with with high-quality education and child services relatively affordable, the ongoing financial crisis has made salaries less competitive compared to the higher cost of living.

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