A study has revealed that Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre, is the world’s fourth cheapest city for expatriates.
The Mercer’s 2017 Cost of Living Survey released this month has ranked Tunisian capital, Tunis, as the cheapest city for expatriates followed by Bishkek of Kyrgyzstan, Skopje of Macedonia and Namibian capital, Windhoek, share position three.
Blantyre is ranked on position 205 in as far as cost of living is concerned in 2017 from 206 in 2016.
Mercer’s authoritative survey is one of the world’s most comprehensive, and is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees.
New York is used as the base city and all cities are compared against it. Currency movements are measured against the US dollar.
The survey includes over 400 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.
Luanda has overtaken Hong Kong as the most expensive city for expatriates to live in.
According to Mercer’s 2017 Global Talent Trends Study, fair and competitive pay as well as opportunities for promotion are top priorities for employees this year, not surprising given the current climate of uncertainty and change.
As a result, multinational organisations are carefully assessing the cost of expatriate packages for their international assignees.
Mercer’s 23rd annual Cost of Living Survey finds that factors such as instability of housing markets and inflation for goods and services contribute to the overall cost of doing business in today’s global environment.
Mercer’s Career business senior partner and president Ilya Bonic said globalisation of the marketplace is well documented with many companies operating in multiple locations around the world and promoting international assignments to enhance the experience of future managers.
“There are numerous personal and organisational advantages for sending employees overseas, whether for long-or short-term assignments, including career development by obtaining global experience, the creation and transfer of skills, and the re-allocation of resources,” Bonic said.