Malaysia is placed 10th in Forbes’ World’s Friendliest Countries’ listing based on the latest HSBC's Expat Explorer Survey, unveiled on Wednesday and is the only one in Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) among the top ten countries.
The online survey from May to July 2012 covered 5,339 expatriates in 97 countries, who were assessed on four main categories –the ability to befriend locals, success in learning the local language, capacity for integrating into the local community and ease in fitting into the new culture.
The survey considered various areas of an expatriate's life including economics-income, disposable income and a measure of luxury; overall experience; and raising children abroad ie childcare, health and well-being and integration of children.
The expatriates surveyed gave the thumbs up for Malaysia as a top destination for them with 72% indicating a better quality of life here.
Some 69% revealed that they have a better standard of accommodation in Malaysia and this is almost two times the global average of 39%.
A third of the respondents have the capacity to own a private swimming pool when previously they could not and some 42% said they could afford more domestic help with higher financial status.
Some 92% commended Malaysia for the ease of travelling in the country with a significant number having the opportunity for more luxurious holidays here.
The expatriates survey deemed Malaysia as having a pleasant climate and scenery and is culturally interesting, giving the respondents an excellent experience which earned the country the fifth spot in overall experience, fourth in setting up in the country, seventh in overall quality of life and 11th in overall integration.
Malaysia is also a top choice for career-oriented expatriates with 61% having come to the country for employment especially in banking, insurance and financial services.
Pleased with the ranking, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in his tweet yesterday said “We welcome the world”.
Cayman Islands, Australia and Britain have been rated the top three friendliest countries for expatriates.
Adapted from New Straits Times and The Star 29 Oct 2012 and Forbes online