Ashgabat is currently the most expensive place to live for expats, i.e. high-class professionals working abroad, according to the latest Mercer consultancy rating. The Asian capital has surpassed Hong Kong and the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

The report is an important metric for companies that send their employees abroad. It is easy for them, inter alia, to do the following calculating various expenses, for example day allowance. Mercer calculates the cost of living in 209 cities by taking into account expenses for transportation, food, rent, entertainment, and clothing. Changes in the ranking are also affected by fluctuations in exchange rates.

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In the latest report, Ashgabat has swapped places with Hong Kong. This is surprising because the capital of Turkmenistan is not an economically viable city that attracts business. On the contrary, it owes its high place in the ranking to economic problems – BBC comments.

“High inflation” has contributed to Ashgabat taking first place in the last ranking, Jean-Philippe Sarah from Mercera told AFP. Inflation is an indicator of the increase in the prices of goods and services. Turkmenistan is famous for its autocratic government and huge gas reserves, but for many years it has been suffering from a crisis that has led to poverty.

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Beirut jumped a big leap in the rankings, advancing 42 places. Mercer put such a high position on the political situation and economic crisis. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the outbreak of the disease in the Port of Beirut in 2020 exacerbated negative trends and contributed to higher inflation.

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The Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, recorded the biggest jump in the rankings – moving up 83 places from 175 to 92. On the other hand, Victoria, the capital of Seychelles, slipped 145 places from 14 to 159.

At the end of the list were Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Lusaka (Zambia) and Tbilisi (Georgia).

Warsaw – the only Polish city in the ranking – moved up five places to occupy 164th place.

Top ten ranking:

1. Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) 2. Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China) 3. Beirut (Lebanon) 4. Tokyo (Japan) 5. Zurich (Switzerland) 6. Shanghai (China) 7. Singapore 8. Geneva ( Switzerland) 9. Beijing (China) 10. Bern (Switzerland)

Most Expensive Cities for Expats – Mercer

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