Chisinau remains cheapest city for foreigners to live in – ECA International survey

Moldova’s capital – Chisinau remains the cheapest city for foreigners, according to a survey conducted by the ECA International consulting firm, which analyzed various factors that enter into a city's cost-of-living for expatriate employees, such as monetary value, consumer confidence, investment, interest rates, exchange rates of the country's currency, and housing costs.  

Thus, Chisinau ranked the last among 225 world cities included in the research. The rating was compiled on the basis of the consumer basket’s costs for the most popular goods among foreigners: dairy, meat, fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, beverages, tobacco products, as well as other goods and services, such as clothing, taxi and restaurants. Other indicators such as the rental fee, the utility bills, the acquisition of vehicles and the education costs have not been included in the survey.  
According to the survey, Norway’s capital – Oslo, is the world's most expensive city for expatriate employees. This can be explained by the fact that Norway has one of the highest standards of living in the world. The exchange rate of the Norwegian currency (kron) is stable and the country receives significant profits from the sale of oil. Angola’s capital – Luanda ranks second, being followed by the Norwegian city Stavanger. The capital of South Sudan – Juba holds the 4th position in the top. The capital of the Russian Federation – Moscow comes next, outstripping Tokyo, New York and Zurich.   

At the same time, according to the internet portal, Moscow remains an attractive venue for expatriate employees, in spite of the fact that over the past year, it has advanced from the 13th position to the 5th one, in the rating of the most expensive cities.

“The demand for foreign top-managers in the Russian Federation is gradually dropping, but foreign specialists are further trying to get a job there, in order to earn higher salaries and to swiftly advance in their career. So far, the demand for highly-qualified engineers and manufacturing technicians is still high. Young specialists (aged around 30) are going to Moscow in order to swiftly build their career and to earn big money, as the Russian companies offer salaries by 30-50% higher than the similar Western enterprises. Usually, they live in Russia for three or four years and then they return back. Most frequently, retirees who want to share their professional experience and young and ambitious managers who are looking for new adventures and impressions are moving to Russia for some time,” said managing director of HeadHunter, Mikhail Jukov.

According to the Financial Times, over a third of foreign specialists (36%) working in the Russian Federation, earn at least US$250 thousand per year. Singapore ranks second, with 32% of expatriate employees that receive US$250 thousand annually. The Bermuda Islands hold the 3rd position in this top, having 27% of expatriates that earn around US$250 thousand in a year.    

The company HeadHunter also conducted an analysis among the specialists working in the Russian Federation. Thus, in order to establish the origin country of the expatriates, HeadHunter compiled a list of top ten native languages, where the Moldovan language took the tenth position, being outstripped by the English, German, Turkish, French, India, Serbian, Arabian, Spanish and Uighur (China).

Adapted from Infotag