Expatriates working in Myanmar overjoyed with their disposable incomes

Expatriates working in Myanmar overjoyed with their disposable incomes

Expatriates working in Myanmar overjoyed with their disposable incomes

If you’re a expat professional looking for a real challenge including plenty of disposable income, Myanmar is the place to go.

Happiness is a full wallet for many expats searching for a destination which offers challenges and commensurate financial rewards, with the occasional unlikely location offering up exactly that. For decades, Myanmar’s world reputation was disastrous, with expat professionals who wanted to see for themselves making up the tiny minority who’d actually heard of the restrictive state. Nowadays it’s a totally different story, with the recent Expat Insider survey reporting foreigners who’d taken up the challenge overwhelmingly overjoyed with their salaries and ecstatic about their disposable incomes.

Amazingly, in the survey’s key sector of personal finance, the formerly restrictive state achieved third position out of the 65 countries covered. Taking matters ever further, 38 per cent of those surveyed said they’d more spare money than they could actually spend. To be fair, one reason for the surprising results is that Myanmar is home to an above-average number of expats working in top managerial positions which command top salaries. Its capital, Yangon, is placed in the 40 most expensive world cities for expat life, but to those who’re actually there, it’s the proverbial crock of gold even allowing for sky-high costs.

Unfortunately, positive survey results stop right there, with the other four criteria giving results only slightly less than disastrous. In the important secondary sectors of quality of life, working abroad, family life and settling in, Myanmar’s ranking averages out at 48th out of 65, making it far less attractive for expats wanting a rounded-up life rather than a life totally focused on making large quantities of cash. Friendliness came in at 12th, and job satisfaction hit in at 6th, a far better result for expats to whom business is all that matters.

Interestingly, replies in the sector exploring how expatriate workers view their local neighbours mentioned ‘traditional and constant’ as against Japan’s ‘innovative and dynamic’, with locals described as ‘emotional and welcoming’ rather than ‘distant and rational’. Contrasts between the different sectors manage to give a clear view of Myanmar as it is today, but leave expats already resident in this diverse land with no real idea where its further development will take it or them.

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