Delve deeper to find Hong Kong’s true cost of living

Any expat’s financial reckoning on coming here, should boil down to one choice: to pay through the nose for a gweilo lifestyle, or live cheap, like a local.

The official write-up of this survey included two words we missed in our report – “for expatriates”.

We did, however, pick up the survey words “… accommodation … not included …” Nor were utilities, car purchases and school fees.

Oh, well. You know.

I do not recognise the publishers of this survey, ECA International, but this should be no surprise. There are 26 letters in the alphabet and if you wish to be a follower of fashion in corporate names these days you take any three of them (but not two or four), which gives you 17,576 possibilities, quite a range.

You then add the word “International” or “Services” or “Logistics” and you’re in business.

ECA is apparently in the business of advising companies how to treat employees they send abroad. It is a lucrative business. There are many players in this field and one big question faces them all – How do we get the attention of the emperors of the human resources departments we are targeting?

There is an invariable answer in all cases. You get up a fancy survey on the cost of living abroad and you wow them with science.