African cities among most expensive places for expats

Luanda in Angola, Africa, is the world’s most expensive city for expatriates to live, according to annual research.

Two other African cities – Ndjamena in Chad and Libreville in Gabon – also feature in the world’s top 10 expensive places in a survey by HR consultancy Mercer, which highlights the growing importance of Africa to multinational companies.

The top 10 also includes three Asian cities: Tokyo (second), Osaka (sixth) and Hong Kong (joint eighth most expensive city with Zurich).

Europe’s most expensive city is Moscow (fourth), followed by Geneva (fifth) and Zurich. London is ranked joint 17th in the survey alongside Paris.

After London, the UK’s most expensive cities are Aberdeen (149), Glasgow (155), and Birmingham (158). Belfast (182) is ranked as the UK’s least expensive city.

The survey covers 214 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

Multinational companies and governments use the survey to help decide employee compensation, according to Mercer.

Nathalie Constantin-Métral, a senior researcher at Mercer, said: “In the past couple of years, corporate assignments have become truly global, with expatriates and ‘global assignees’ being transferred across all parts of the world.

“However, global mobility is still an expensive undertaking for companies, so selection of the right candidates and a real understanding of the costs involved in relocating staff to other countries are essential – especially in today’s economic environment.”

Personnel Today has published an in-depth guide into managing expats in dangerous areas.

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