By Gonzalo Jalles, CEO, Cayman Finance

In a global comparison of countries conducted by HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey for 2013, the Cayman Islands ranked fourth out of all countries when it comes to the best place for expats to thrive, beaten only by first-place China, second-place Germany, and third-place Singapore.  In addition, it was ranked number one as the friendliest place in the world to live for expats.

The largest global expat survey of its kind, HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey asked 7,000 expats questions relating to their finances, quality of life, and what it’s like to raise children abroad — all key decision-influencing issues when it comes to choosing the right overseas environment in which to live if you are an expat.

The Expat Explorer Survey highlights some important advantages that positively influence professionals from overseas making the decision to move to this jurisdiction. Often professionals who look to move overseas will have families, and so, quality of life for the entire family within the new country is of paramount importance.  The Cayman Islands ranks highest for the ‘Setting Up’ criteria in the Expat Experience league tables, which means expats based here rank Cayman higher than expats from any other country.  This includes a range of setting-up measures, including traveling around locally, getting used to the local culture, making friends, finding accommodation, and organising healthcare.

In addition, the survey highlighted how a higher proportion of expats (67%) agreed Cayman was an easy place to organise their finances, compared with the global average (51%).  As a result, seven in ten (70%) expats in the Cayman Islands stated they enjoyed a higher quality of life — almost twice the global average (45%).  The survey also indicated Cayman remains the friendliest country in the world, with eight in ten expats rating the destination as an easy place to make friends — the highest out of all countries worldwide.

The survey puts the Cayman Islands in an extremely favourable light when compared to its main rivals. Not only did Cayman reach an extremely high level when compared to other countries globally, its offshore financial centre competitors, such as Bermuda, were not even mentioned in the rankings’ tables. This confirms the Cayman Islands is in a league all of its own when it comes to choosing the right environment in which to live and work. The Cayman Islands is highly prized for its incredibly high level of quality of life for all residents, expats, and locals alike.

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