Costs for expatriates rising in Hong Kong

Global Business

Costs for expatriates rising in Hong Kong

A new international survey has ranked Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive city for expatriates, which may affect multinational companies’ strategies for sending expats there.

CCTV’s Li Jiejun reported.

Costs for expatriates rising in Hong Kong

Costs for expatriates rising in Hong Kong

A new international survey has ranked Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive city for expatriates, which may affect multinational companies’ strategies for sending expats there. CCTV’s Li Jiejun reported.

According to a report by global consultancy firm Mercer, Hong Kong is the world’s most expensive city for expatriates to live in. But its free market and low taxation has attracted many multinational companies to send staff here.

It surveyed over 200 cities and graded them based on a number of items, such as housing, food, and entertainment.

Mercer found that an unfurnished two-bedroom apartment in a decent Hong Kong neighborhood costs as much as $6,800 a month, which is much higher, compared to London’s $4,600 and Tokyo’s $4,000. In Hong Kong, you may need to pay about $8 just for a cup of coffee, being twice as much as London and Tokyo.

“First, Hong Kong dollar is pegged with US dollar. Currency fluctuation is one the main factors affecting the ranking. Last year, the most expensive city Luanda, but the local currency has been depreciated for more than 40 percent. Secondly, Hong Kong is quite expensive for several items, for example, the house rental is the most important element, and food at home, utility and transportation cost are also expensive compared to many cities in the world,” said Connie Leung, from Mercer in Hong Kong said.

The survey is designed for multinational companies to calculate expat workers’ allowances. Experts said that if the cost of living remains high or continues to rise in Hong Kong, these companies may have to adjust their future development strategies.


Wei Gu on Hong Kong housing for expatriates

For more details on Hong Kong housing, CCTV America’s Michelle Makori interviewed Wei Gu, editor of China Wealth and Luxury.