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Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 23:24

Moving up the ladder — HK tops expats’ choice for career

By Chai Hua
Moving up the ladder — HK tops expats’ choice for career
A recent survey showed that Hong Kong ranks as the top destination for expats hoping to achieve career progression in the world. (Billy H.C. Kwok / Bloomberg)

Hong Kong is the biggest attraction for expatriates when it comes to building up their careers despite its high living costs which dented the city’s overall global ranking, according to a global survey by HSBC.

The banking giant’s “Expat Explorer” poll showed Hong Kong ranks as the top destination for expats hoping to achieve career progression in the world.

However, the SAR’s overall ranking slipped from last year’s 11th to 13th, while Singapore and New Zealand kept the top two spots.

The poll, conducted in March and April this year, covered about 27,000 expatriates worldwide, including 616 from Hong Kong.

Sixty-eight percent of expats in the SAR agreed that the city is a good place for career progression — the highest among all the 190 countries and regions surveyed.

More than half of Hong Kong’s expats recommended the city as the right place to start a business, and believed that the work experience they gained in Hong Kong will help them enhance their job prospects when they leave for another destination or return home.

Greg Hingston, head of retail banking and wealth management, Hong Kong, at HSBC, said the SAR offers a vast pool of exciting job opportunities that appeal to expats, aided by its status as an international financial center and gateway to the Chinese mainland.

Besides job prospects, Hong Kong offers down-to-earth benefits for expats.

More than 60 percent of the Hong Kong respondents said they earn more than they did in their home country, with average earnings reaching $170,000 annually — almost doubling the global average of $97,000.

In terms of individual savings, the SAR ranked 11th, with about 54 percent of expats saying their savings for retirement had gone up working in the city.

However, the survey found they also spend more in Hong Kong, especially in raising a family. Nearly 80 percent of expat parents said education in the city is more expensive than that of their home country and its overall cost of raising children ranks 44th globally.

Soaring living costs have been a major deterrent for foreigners in Hong Kong.

Human capital consulting firm Mercer said Hong Kong has become the world’s most expensive place to live in.

The metropolis ranked 66th out of 67 in the Cost of Living Index, according to the Expat Insider survey published by expatriate networking website InterNations on Aug 29.

Hong Kong also fell from 34th to 42nd in the survey’s Personal Finance section compared with last year.

grace@chinadailyhk.com
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