HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Employing expats in Hong Kong cost more than Singapore

A typical pay package is valued at US$268,514 versus Singapore’s US$223,095.

Companies short on cash may want to consider deploying expats to Singapore than Hong Kong as the average pay package in the Asian financial hub is fourth most expensive in APAC and fifth globally, according to a report from ECA International.

Also read: Hong Kong remains Asia's priciest location for expat rental housing

The value of a typical expat pay package in Hong Kong stands at US$268,514 compared to typical annual compensation and benefits package for an expat middle manager in Singapore at US$223,095. A typical expat package includes cash salary, tax and various benefits like accommodation, international schools, and utilities.

“Cash salaries offered to local staff increased marginally by an average rate of 4%, and the cost of benefits provided has risen significantly. Consequently, the total costs associated with employing expatriates in Hong Kong increased in 2017 versus 2016,” said ECA International regional director for Asia Lee Quane.

Also read: Strong expat demand push luxury home prices up in Q4

A separate survey reveals that Hong Kong outperforms both Singapore and Shanghai in terms of perception by its foreign talent as almost a fourth (24%) of expats believe that the city offers ‘fantastic job opportunities’ compared to only a fifth (19%) of expats who believe that Singapore offers fantastic job opportunities whilst only 16% cite Shanghai’s diverse employment offerings.

Japan has the most expensive expat pay package globally and in APAC at US$356,224 as the weaker value of the pound after Brexit has made expat pay packages cheaper in the United Kingdom which slipped to second place at US$344,508.

India and China trail closely at US$293,097 and US$276,387 respectively. The USA, Australia, Turkey, Argentina and France complete the top ten.

ECA's MyExpatriate Market Pay Survey looks at pay levels for expatriates around the world, including information on benefits, allowances, salary calculation methods and tax treatment.

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