Try to guess which city has become the most expensive for foreigners to live in, surpassing last year’s leader – Hong Kong? I’m sure not everyone will guess …
In the last rating, according to the BBC, Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, is confidently leading. Hong Kong had to take second place, Beirut came in third, and Tokyo, the capital of Japan, came in fourth.
American consulting firm Mercer compiles a similar ranking of 209 cities around the world each year, which helps governments and individual companies determine how much to pay their employees when they perform their duties abroad. When compiling a rating, many factors are taken into account – food prices, property values and travel rates, service rates, and so on.
However, if someone thinks that Ashgabat topped the rating because of the country’s high level of well-being, then in reality everything is exactly the opposite. The city was given the first place by the grave economic crisis in the country and the persistent growth of inflation. Already last year, these same factors ensured him the second place in the ranking.
It is a pity that Turkmenistan, with its unprecedented reserves of natural gas, cannot cope with the severe economic crisis that has led to the impoverishment of a significant part of the population.