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Expat wealth heads to Asia

Publication Date : 24-10-2012


"Explore the city and get to know the public transportation routes, this will help you converse with other expats and find your way around the city."

This is the description of Thailand in the eyes of expats covered in HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey, which ranks Thailand the third in the economics league table.

The global survey ranks countries on a number of factors such as earning levels, disposable income and ability to accumulate luxuries. While Singapore tops the chart, Hong Kong came the fourth, China 7th and Vietnam 10th.

Key findings in the survey are:

Singapore is home to wealthiest expats Over half (55 per cent) of expats in Hong Kong earn over US$150,000 versus 17 per cent globally Two thirds (60 per cent) of expats moved to China for job opportunities Asia has come to the fore as a leading destination for expat earning potential, according to the latest findings.

In the midst of wider global turmoil, expats in Asia continue to benefit from increased earnings with Singapore holding the largest proportion of wealthy expats of any country.

More than half (54 per cent) of Singapore-based expats who took part in the Expat Explorer survey earn more than US$200,000 per year, compared to other expats in Asia (Hong Kong 36 per cent, China, 34 per cent, India 33 per cent, Malaysia 20 per cent, Vietnam 23 per cent) and a global survey average of only 7 per cent.

Furthermore, four in five (80 per cent) expats in Singapore saw an increase in their disposable income since relocating. This trend for increased earnings is mirrored across other Asian countries, with expats in Hong Kong (79 per cent), Malaysia (72 per cent) and China (69 per cent) benefitting from an increase in disposable income since moving to the country. One in ten of those surveyed (11 per cent) said that either Australia or Hong Kong would be their next expat location of choice.

The annual Expat Explorer survey, now in its 5th year, is the largest global survey of expats. HSBC Expat's Expat Explorer surveyed 5,339 expats from nearly 100 countries worldwide; making it the largest ever sample to date. The findings reflect the views of survey respondents living and working abroad.

"The Expat Explorer survey provides a wealth of information and is a valuable resource for the expat community, especially for those looking at trends in the migration of expat earning potential from country to country. While Asia has historically been a popular choice for those looking for increased quality of life, we're also seeing a steady increase in the levels of expat wealth heading to the region.

These two factors combined indicate that Asia is fast becoming an all-round top expat destination."Dean Blackburn, Head of HSBC Expat, said.

This year, China significantly improved its overall ranking to 7th from 19th in 2011. Half (49 per cent) of expats relocating to China expect to earn more money. Two thirds (64 per cent) of expats in China witnessed a marked improvement in the financial status of their household with a similar proportion (69 per cent) citing an increase in disposable income upon relocation.

Close to a third (29 per cent) reported that their household income has increased by 50 per cent or more since moving to China. In terms of experience, 44 per cent believe that the country offers a high quality of life for expats.


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