By Romesh Navaratnarajah: Once again, Singapore has been named the world's most liveable city for Asian expats, with its low crime rate and excellent infrastructure as key factors, according to the latest survey by ECA International.
Singapore retained its top spot out of 265 locations globally. Its geographical location in the heart of Southeast Asia makes it even more attractive to Asian expats, with its low culture and language barriers, comfortable climate and close proximity to their home countries.
Lee Quane, Regional Director of ECA International, Asia, acknowledged Singapore's position as one of only two cities in Asia to make it into the top 10, driven by its "good air quality, excellent infrastructure and healthcare facilities, low crime and health risks".
Meanwhile, air pollution proved to be a major issue for Singapore's long-time regional rival Hong Kong, which is one of the worst countries for air quality globally.
"Hong Kong is very liveable city in many respects," he said. However, its poor air quality was a serious factor for anyone planning to relocate there.
Japan also took a big hit due the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the country's north-east coast in 2011. Tokyo and Yokohama, which were both in last year's top 10 list, fell to joint 17th spot this year. "When a natural disaster occurs, infrastructure, utilities and availability of goods are all likely to be impacted for the worse," said Quane. "This is what we have seen in these two locations."Meanwhile, the ranking for Chinese and Indians cities remained stable, with Shanghai and Bangalore coming in 83rd and 156th spots respectively.
At the same time, Australia dominated the top 10 list, with six cities making the cut.
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