Luanda, Moscow costliest for expatriates

Luanda-Angola23 July 2013, News Wires – Angolan capital, Luanda, topped a ranking this year of most costly places to live for expatriates, followed by Moscow, Russia and Tokyo, Japan.

Security concerns in businesses including a thriving oil industry have driven up the costs in the African nation, according to the latest 2013 Cost of Living Survey from human resources firm Mercer, designed to help companies budget sending workers abroad.

“Despite being one of Africa’s major oil producers, Angola is a relatively poor country yet expensive for expatriates since imported goods can be costly,” said Barb Marder, a senior partner at Mercer.

“In addition, finding secure living accommodations that meet the standards of expatriates can be challenging and quite costly.”

Housing expenses are among the highest for companies making relocations, which the average cost of a two-bedroom “luxury” apartment in Luanda estimated at $6500 per month, Moscow at $4600 per month and Tokyo $4315.

In Luanda, a club sandwich and soda will set you back $20.06, a pair of blue jeans $204.41 and monthly rent for a three-bedroom house $15,000. A litre of gasoline only costs $.63, however.

Coming in fourth was Ndjamena, Chad and fifth was Singapore. Hong Kong, Geneva, Zurich, Bern and Sydney rounded out the list of top 10 costliest cities.

Weaker currency exchanges meant costs retreated somewhat in Asia and Latin American countries like Brazil.

In the US, New York City serves as the benchmark for the study and was the country’s costliest city.

See here for a full summary of results or to check out what a hamburger meal costs in Venezuela.

Regardless, research by Mercer indicates global posts are on the rise.

“Organisations need to evaluate the impact of currency fluctuations, inflation, and political instability when sending employees on overseas assignments while ensuring they can facilitate the moves they need to drive the business results by offering fair and competitive compensation packages,” the firm concluded.

– Upstream

About the Author