A major challenge faced by companies operating internationally is the need to strike a balance between attracting the right talent while remaining as cost-effective as possible. Dangerous levels of air pollution, combined with high international school fees and accommodation costs, mean that companies in Hong Kong have traditionally offered generous expatriate packages to attract highly sought-after talent.”
The value of a typical expatriate package for Middle Managers in Hong Kong is around HKD 2 059 600 (USD 265 500). Even though expatriate pay packages in Hong Kong are the fourth highest in the region, they have fallen over the past five years in USD terms by two per cent.
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 five per cent since 2012 owing to rental prices in popular expatriate neighbourhoods declining.”
The gap has decreased between the total expatriate packages typically offered in mainland China and Hong Kong, with companies in Chinese cities providing three per cent less in USD terms than last year. A total package for an expatriate Middle Manager in China is worth around HKD 2 191 900 (USD 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,” stated Quane. “On the other hand, due to the yuan weakening against the dollar over this period, expatriate packages have declined in USD terms from last year’s totals. As a result, China remains attractive for foreign companies that need to send expatriates to the region as, although costs are rising in local currency, they have fallen in USD terms since our previous survey.”
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 HKD 1 827 300 (USD 235 500). The cost of an expatriate package has fallen in Singapore by six per cent in USD terms over the past five years.
“In local currency terms, although expatriate salaries continue to rise in Singapore, reaching the highest levels since our survey began, the benefits element has declined significantly. This has meant that the total cost of an expatriate package to companies in Singapore has fallen over the past few years in local and USD terms,” said Quane.
Japan is home to Asia's most expensive expatriate packages. On average, a package for an expatriate Middle Manager there is worth HKD 2 851 000 (USD 367 500). The total package has risen by a significant amount from last year’s total, by around 12 per cent, with the yen strengthening against the US dollar in the survey period.
Malaysia continues to offer the region’s lowest total expatriate pay packages – with packages falling by 13 per cent in USD terms since 2012, falling behind Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the process. The average cost of a total expatriate package in Malaysia now lies at just over HKD 1 303 700 (USD 168 000).
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