More relocating execs prefer S'pore to HK

More relocating execs prefer S'pore to HK

Singapore has widened its lead over Hong Kong as an attractive place for high-flying professionals to relocate to.

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The Republic retained its No. 4 worldwide ranking this year, while Hong Kong slipped to No. 8, from No. 7 last year, according to the findings of a new study released yesterday.

Human-resource experts and business associations told My Paper that Singapore's edge could lie in its metropolitan culture, favourable business policies and economic stability.

The study, by specialist recruitment firm Hydrogen Group, found that the United States remains the choice destination, despite its tough economic climate.

It was followed by Britain and Australia. A total of 2,146 professionals in 90 countries and territories were surveyed in November last year.

On why Singapore was able to widen its lead over Hong Kong, manager of IT commerce division at Robert Walters Singapore, Mr Pri Sandhu, said that Singapore's predominant use of English could be a big draw for expatriates, making the country "an easier place to adapt to".

Singapore's "gracious business policies" - such as easy incorporation for small and medium-sized enterprises and tax benefits - also give it an edge over other territories, said Mr Pri.

Mr Mark Hall, vice-president and country general manager at Kelly Services Singapore, said that "Singapore remains very attractive for many foreigners, particularly as unemployment rates in Europe reach record highs".

Still, Mr Victor Tay, chief operating officer at the Singapore Business Federation, warned that Singapore could face some challenges with rising costs of doing business, and more restrictive foreign-recruitment policies in place.

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