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Published: Wednesday March 11, 2009 MYT 5:00:00 PM

Expatriates prefer KL, George Town

SINGAPORE: The Malaysian cities of Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown are among the top 10 locations in Asia where Europeans prefer to work and live in, according to a latest international location ratings survey.

Kuala Lumpur was ranked ninth and Georgetown 10th, after Singapore, Kobe, Yokohama, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Macau, Seoul and Taipei, said ECA International, an agency that develops and provides solutions for the management and assignment of employees around the world, in its annual Location Ratings Survey.

The survey rates living standards in more than 400 locations globally, according to categories including climate, air quality, health services, housing and utilities, isolation, social network and leisure facilities, infrastructure, personal safety and political tensions.

Its overall ratings normally would be used by international human resources departments to establish allowances which compensate expatriate staff for the difficulties of adapting to living in their assignment location.

Both Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown were also ranked ninth in Asia for Asians to live in, the survey said, adding that in the world's rankings, they took 61st and 64th spots, respectively.

In that same global category, Singapore took first placing, followed by Kobe (3), Yokohama (4), Tokyo (6), Hong Kong (11), Taipei (56), Macau (56) and Bangkok (63).

"These rankings reveal a large gulf in the quality of living among Asian locations," said ECA International Regional Director Asia Lee Quane.

He said, while there were a handful of locations in Asia which offered Asian assignees a good standard of living, the majority of locations would be challenging in some shape or form and therefore, warranting high location allowances.

The survey also said Baghdad remained the least favourable location to live in, followed by Kabul, Karachi and Port-au-Prince.

"A lack of suitable facilities for expatriates, along with high personal security risk, makes these locations the least desirable," the survey said. - Bernama

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