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Singapore: 9th Most Costly to Hire Expats

Expatriate pay packages in Hong Kong have fallen to a five-year low but are still the fourth highest in the Asia Pacific region – after Japan, mainland China and India. Those are the findings of the latest MyExpatriate Market Pay survey published by ECA International.

In 2016, the value of a typical expatriate package for middle managers in Hong Kong was around HK$2,059,600 (US$265, 500)per year, indicating a 2% drop in USD terms over the past five years.

The survey highlighted the decline in expatriate rental prices has led to benefits packages falling in Hong Kong.

“The most expensive part of the expatriate package in Hong Kong is typically the benefits element, to the extent that the benefits component is often much greater than the assignee’s net take-home pay. While the value of benefits in Hong Kong remain significantly higher than all other locations in the region, they have fallen by 5% since 2012 owing to rental prices in popular expatriate neighbourhoods declining,”  said Lee Quane, regional director – Asia, ECA International.

The gap between the total expatriate packages typically offered in mainland China and Hong Kong has decreased. A total package for an expatriate middle manager in China is worth around HK$2,191,900 (US$282,500) on average.

“Traditionally, Hong Kong has offered more lucrative packages for expatriates than China’s major cities. However, in the past few years, rising cost of living and increased pollution in China made it more challenging to attract international talent and so packages continue to rise in local terms,” explained Quane.

Singapore is ninth in the Asia Pacific regional rankings this year. The value of a typical expatriate package for middle managers in Singapore is now HK$1,827,300 (US$235,500) per year. The cost of an expatriate package has fallen in Singapore by 6% in USD terms over the past five years.

Malaysia continues to offer the region’s lowest total expatriate pay packages. With packages having fallen by 13% in USD terms since 2012, the average cost of a total expatriate package in Malaysia is now just over HK$1,303,700 (US$ 168,000) a year.

Japan is home to Asia’s most expensive expatriate packages. On average, an annual package for an expatriate middle manager there is worth HK$2,851,000 (US$367,500).

The survey included more than 290 companies, covering 160 countries and over 10,000 international assignees.

Credits: Anthony Wong

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