Living in Metro Manila cheaper than neighboring Asian cities

Metro Manila remains a relatively cheap Southeast Asian urban center to live in, a new survey of expatriates showed.

The Philippines' capital region placed 187th in a global ranking based on the latest Cost of Living survey by employer consultant ECA International.

Related story: PH slides down in global tax ranking

The study, which ECA said may help employers determine appropriate salary levels for expatriates, compares a standard basket of goods commonly purchased by expatriates in more than 400 locations worldwide.

"Living costs for assignees are affected by inflation, availability of goods and exchange rates, all of which can have a significant impact on assignee remuneration packages," ECA said.

Among the 49 Asian urban centers in the survey, Metro Manila kept its 2011 ranking as 32nd most expensive.

Also read: PH eyes more Indian tourists

Cost of living in the national capital was lower compared to the Southeast Asian cities of Jakarta,which ranked 123rd globally; Bangkok, 162nd; and Vientiane, 85th.

Living in Metro Manila, however, is more expensive than Chiang Mai, placed 189th globally; Hanoi, 104th; Mumbai, 215th; Ho Chi Minh City, 216th; and Bangalore, 227th.

"Over the past three years, Asian locations have climbed up the global ranking," the survey said.

This, even as ECA noted that prices of items in Asia have risen only by an average of 6.5 percent in 2012, lower than last year's 8.2 percent price hike.

"Nine Asian locations now feature in the top 50 most costly locations for international assignees worldwide," the report said, noting a rise from only four in 2009.

In other news: Businessmen to attract more foreign investors

Tokyo remained on top of the global list this year, even if Japan was the only Asian location which posted price declines.

Also in the top 10 are the Japanese cities of Nagoya (2nd), Yokohama (5th) and Kobe (6th).

Rounding out the list of top the top 10 are Oslo (3rd) and Stavanger (8th) in Norway; Luanda, Angola (4th); Caracas, Venezuela (7th); and Zurich (9th) and Geneva (10th) in Switzerland.

Making it to the top 50, meanwhile, are the Asian cities of Beijing (22nd) and Shanghai (26th) in China; Seoul in South Korea (23rd); Singapore (31st) and Hong Kong (32nd).

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