Saturday, July 30, 2011

Moving to Havana

Today we look at moving to Havana in Cuba from Shenzhen in China. We highlight cost of living and other major differences likely to be experienced in our series of short blogs on moving between different international locations.

In Havana people speak Spanish. In Shenzhen people speak Mandarin Chinese.
Havana is the capital city, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. Shenzhen is a city of sub-provincial administrative status in southern China's Guangdong province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong.

Havana's economy first developed on the basis of its location, which made it one of the early great trade centres in the New World. Sugar and a flourishing slave trade first brought riches to the city, and later, after independence, it became a renowned resort. Despite efforts by Fidel Castro's government to spread Cuba's industrial activity to all parts of the island, Havana remains the centre of much of the nation's industry. Shenzhen is a major manufacturing centre in China and is home to some of China's most successful high-tech companies. Shenzhen's economic output is ranked fourth among Chinese cities after Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The overall cost of living rank in Havana is 175 out of 300 global locations, which equates it with middle cost of living locations.  An expatriate moving from Shenzhen to Havana will experience a change in cost of living of 11%.
In terms of the hardship people are likely to experience, assessed in global terms, Havana is ranked as an extreme hardship location with a hardship index of 40% compared to Shenzhen with a hardship index of 30% which is a high degree of hardship location.

Source: as at July 2011.

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