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S’pore still top for safety, quality of life in Asia

Singapore has retained its position as the safest Asian city and for offering the best quality of life within the region for expatriates, according to Mercer’s 18th Annual Quality of Living Survey, which ranked 230 cities worldwide.

Globally, the city-state remained in 26th spot for quality of living, beating out its Japanese rivals Tokyo (44th), Kobe (46th), Yokohama (49th) and Osaka (58th).

Singapore also surpassed other Southeast Asian cities like Kuala Lumpur (86th), Bangkok (129th), Manila (136th) and Jakarta (142th), as well as Chinese cities such as Hong Kong (70th), Taipei (84th), Shanghai (101th) and Beijing (118th).

Meanwhile, the top five cities with the best living standards are Vienna, Zurich, Auckland, Munich and Vancouver. On the other hand, Khartoum in Sudan, Haiti’s Port-au-Prince, Sana’a in Yemen, the Central African Republic’s Bangul and Baghdad landed in the bottom five on the list.

The data was largely analysed between September and November 2015.

According to Mercer, a global human resources consulting firm, personnel safety is a key factor in determining expats’ quality of life. Ensuring that workers of multinational firms are safe is also an essential part of talent retention and recruitment strategies of these companies.

“Managing safety and health issues is of utmost importance, especially for employees who relocate with a family,” said Slagin Parakatil, Principal at Mercer, who is also responsible for the quality-of-living research.

“Other elements that add to safety costs in the host location are obtaining suitable and well secured accommodations; having an in-house comprehensive expatriate security programme and providing access to reputable professional evacuation services and medical support firms, and finally, providing security training and guarded office premises,” he added.

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