The international consulting company Mercer has published the Cost of Living Ranking for expatriates.
According to the rating, Ashgabat ranked the second most expensive city in the world following Hon Kong.
Specific factors such as currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and instability of accommodation prices are taken into account when compiling the survey.
Apart from Ashgabat and Hong Kong, Tokyo, Zurich, Singapore, New York, Shanghai, Bern, Geneva, Beijing, Seoul, Tel Aviv and Shenzhen are among top ten most expensive cities.
At the same time, in March 2019 Mercer’s rating Ashgabat ranked 211 out of 231 cities in the quality of living.
It should be mentioned that the cost of living in Turkmenistan for expatriates increased sharply after the crisis broke out in the country, which resulted in the emergence of the “black market” of foreign currency with the dollar exchange rate 6,5 times as much as the official one. The increase in the dollar exchange rate led to a price hike for imported and subsequently domestic groceries.
For instance, a can of NAN infant formula in Ashgabat stores costs 226 manats, which is an equivalent to $65 when converted at the official rate. In Russia it is sold at $10. A similar situation is being observed with many other groceries.
A year ago another consulting company ECA International acknowledged Ashgabat as the most expensive city for expatriates in a Cost of Living Index.
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan