Kathmandu has been ranked as the fifth worst city in the world for freelancers in 2017. According to a recent study conducted by Netherlands-based freelancer organization- Hoofdkraan.nl, the Nepalese capital has been considered as one of least preferred cities for freelancers to live in.
The Dutch online platform that connects freelancers with companies, conducted an online research with 117 cities across more than 90 countries and looked at 23 different factors that are important for freelancers. This included: internet speed, freedom of speech, workspace availability, safety, peace, housing price, clean air, female and gay-friendly, quality of life and weather. It also included factors that are pertinent for freelancers such as what fun activities are there to do during leisure time in the city, how is the nightlife, is there a beach nearby, how many people live in the city, how expensive is it to live there, how high is the tax rate, is the electricity stable, is it easy to be a freelancer there (does the government have special rules to make it easier), is there good coffee, how much does a coffee or a beer cost and are there a lot of places you can work and meet people who also freelance.
“Kathmandu is not a big choice in places to work from for freelancers. The Internet is slow and unstable, electricity is not very authentic, there is no good nightlife. The key factors as peace, freedom of speech and safety is regarded as low and the life quality is also seen as low (5 out of 10) – say, people who live there,” said Bonny Vrielink from the research website when asked why Kathmandu is ranked so low on the list.
According to the report, Portugal is the best country in the world to live as a freelancer with its capital city, Lisbon being the best choice and its second city, Porto also being ranked at 10th position in the compiled list. Cheap and fast internet, safe to live with good resources, good nightlife, higher quality of life and close to beaches make these two cities dream places to live as independent workers. Miami (USA) and Sevile (Spain) are ranked as second and third best cities to live as a freelancer respectively. Bangkok in Thailand (16th) and Taipei in Taiwan (18th) are only two Asian cities under top 30 best cities list. Mumbai and New Delhi rank at 96th and 106th places respectively.
Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, came as the worst city in the world from the 117 cities that the website studied. Other nine worst cities are St. Petersberg (Russia), Lagos (Nigeria), Beijing (China), Kathmandu (Nepal), La Paz (Bolivia), Johannesburg (South Africa), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Jakarta (Indonesia) and Nairobi (Kenya). These cities are unsafe to live, have unreliable electricity and slow internet and the quality of life also is poor.
“Except for the obvious which isn’t easy to change: safety, life quality, etc,” advises Bonny to improve the ranking of Kathmandu for freelancers.” Electricity and internet stability should have to be improved. Kathmandu’s internet speed was the lowest of all the countries researched, which is below 1 MBPS. “Some governments have special programs to make it easier or more attractive to hire freelancers, set up places where people can meet, network and find jobs or give the freelancers lower tax rates. Nepal should also do the same. This would all definitely help.”