Empowering the Freelance Economy

Asia home to the most freelancer-friendly locations

Penang, Malaysia tops the list for freelancer-friendly cities/ Visitors can spot clever street art in Penang's Georgetown section/ Photo by motomoto sc via Pexels
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Penang (Malaysia), Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), Bangalore (India), Chiang Mai (Thailand), and Buenos Aires (Argentina) have been named the most freelance-friendly cities in the world. 

New data analysis has revealed the top locations to work and live as a freelancer around the world in 2023. The research and methodology took into account things like average internet speeds, co-working office costs, rental prices and transport costs. 

As 84 per cent of businesses believe freelancers can add positive value to their business, there is a lot of opportunity to freelance across a variety of industries, while working remotely. That’s according to a report published by Craft Documents, which creates templates for freelancers.

This new data examined the average price of a co-working hot desk, the average rental cost of a 1-bedroom property in the city’s centre, the average Airbnb nightly cost, internet speed, food costs, transport costs, and the number of co-working spaces – based on the most popular cities for digital nomads. 

Many jobs that were once traditional 9-5 positions are now being replaced by freelance and remote working opportunities, offering increased flexibility, autonomy and freedom for workers.

“With this, many individuals have been able to pursue their passion, work from different locations around the world, and take advantage of technology to collaborate with people from anywhere with internet access,” said a Craft Documents spokesperson.

“This has allowed for more freedom, meaning you can choose to work from destinations across the globe – from Ho Chi Minh to Buenos Aires. All while exploring new cultures, delving into unfamiliar working environments, and earning an income,” said the spokesperson.

Penang (Malaysia), Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), and Bangalore (India) were amongst the top locations to live and work as a freelancer, according to the report findings – topping the leaderboard for having the best access to co-working spaces, a reasonable cost of living, and good internet speeds. 

Penang in Malaysia took the top spot due to its affordability and high standard of living, offering the lowest costs for hot desking and rental prices. 

Closely following these destinations were Chiang Mai in Thailand and Buenos Aires in Argentina, also offering affordable transportation, food, and accommodation. 

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