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Expatriate Health Insurance News: Thailand tops list for expat experience

Thailand has been voted the top destination for overall expatriate experience in a new study that highlights the lure of Asia at present.

The Southeast Asian country was found to be particularly accommodating of foreigners trying to set up a new life, integrate with the community and forge lasting friendships.

Elsewhere in the region, China ranked third, Singapore sixth, India seventh and Taiwan eighth in the HSBC Expat survey.

Meanwhile, Malaysia came in at number 20, Indonesia 31 and Vietnam 32, showing the appeal of moving to this part of the planet.

For the sixth year in a row, the rankings have been compiled by canvassing the opinions of more than 7,000 expats from some 100 countries around the world.

Thailand was also found to be the most cost effective place for foreigners to live, with its high earnings potential and low cost of living, while Vietnam and Indonesia have the best career opportunities.

Neal McCarthy, who relocated to Thailand from the US 12 years ago, told the Wall Street Journal: “From Thailand’s countless tropical beaches and islands, to the world-class restaurants and modern infrastructure, the cultural attractions, and a still relatively attractive overall cost of living, it’s really hard for any country to top.

“I don’t regret for a second having made the decision to come here.”

The highest paid expats in the world are located in Asia, with the survey able to confirm that 22 per cent of those earning in excess of $250,000 (£155,580) living in Indonesia, 13 per cent in Japan and ten per cent in China.

Such results are due to the strong economic growth that has been experienced in many of Southeast Asia’s emerging economies in recent years.

In order to facilitate this, these countries have brought in expat workers taking advantage of career opportunities while the economies in their home countries remain slow.

Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat, said: “Over the years, we have seen expat wealth gradually heading east, with emergent, and now indeed fully emerged, regions like the Middle East and Asia becoming more and more popular with expats.”

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