Taiwan remains popular destination among expats: HSBC

Taiwan remains popular destination among expats: HSBC
Labourers work at the construction site of Beijing-based developer Vantone Real Estate's apartment project in the suburb of Taipei August 8, 2014.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Thanks to friendly locals, an affordable cost of living and decent health care, Taiwan is ranked as the eighth most popular destination among global expats, based on the Expat Explorer Report 2014 released by HSBC.

Among all the countries surveyed, Taiwan stands out for how well expats integrate into local life. An overwhelming 93 per cent say they enjoy experiencing Taiwanese culture. Up to 85 per cent say they are big fans of local food.

Nearly two thirds of expats say they have more disposable income than in their home countries, thanks to Taiwan's lower costs for accommodation, utilities, health care and transportation.

Up to 76 per cent of expats in Taiwan feel welcome at work, but some comment on how different the work culture in Taiwan is compared to what they are used to. Taiwanese' friendliness is a big plus for expats, as 91 per cent associate local residents with this trait. Taiwanese are generally described as kind, helpful and polite.

While setting up health insurance in a foreign country can be challenging, this is not the case for many expats in Taiwan, as nearly 70 per cent say sorting out the insurance and other medical provisions was relatively easy.

Also, 67 per cent say the health care cost is lower in Taiwan than in their home countries. In spite of the lower cost, 64 per cent say Taiwan offers better quality health care compared to their home countries.

The expat population in Taiwan consists of 61 per cent men. In regards to expats' nations of origin, the top three countries are the United States (35 per cent), United Kingdom (16 per cent) and Canada (8 per cent).

The survey shows that 25 per cent of expats work in education, 13 per cent in marketing, media and creative industries, and 7 per cent in banking, insurance and financial services.

According to HSBC's report, Asia provides expats with a high income, earning an average of US$120,000 (S$96,000) per year, much higher than the global average of US$92,000. China provides expats with the best salary, with a quarter of them earning more than US$300,000 a year.

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