Cost of living for expats on the rise in Yangon

Yangon has climbed to become the sixth most expensive city in the ASEAN bloc for expatriates to live and work, a new survey by global consulting firm, ECA International found last week.

Singapore was the most expensive Southeast Asian city and the 30th most expensive city worldwide for international assignees to live.

The ranking was judged on the cost of living and looked at indicators like the average price of weekly groceries, basic goods like drink and general services like motoring and hospitality that reflect an “international lifestyle”, ECA said in a press release.

Behind Singapore were Bangkok, Jakarta, Vientiane and Kuala Lumpur. Yangon pipped expat-populous Chiang Mai to take the spot of the sixth most expensive.

Tusker Manpower Recruitment manager Michael Myat said the salaries in Yangon – even for expats – had remained low and stagnant in the face of rising living costs in Yangon.

“The living costs are quite low regionally, but so are the salaries,” Mr Myat said, adding it can be difficult to attract expatriate workers to employment in Myanmar. “The cost of living is higher day by day.”

In Tokyo, the Asian city with the highest cost of living according to the index, a can of soft drink is US$1.60, compared with about $0.50 in Myanmar. A beer at a bar is about $2 and $1 respectively in Myanmar.

Source: Myanmar Times

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