Expatriate pay packages in Singapore have dropped by US$3,804, with the average cost of employing a mid-level expatriate in the country amounting to US$234,454 (S$216, 628) which includes an average cash salary of US$88,045 (S$119,927), said ECA International recently.
Despite the fall in costs, the country remains in the top 20 most expensive locations in the world to employ overseas workers, the firm pointed out when releasing results of its This MyExpatriate Market Pay survey.
“In recent years, Singapore has fallen to be the ninth most expensive location in Asia for employing expatriate staff”, said Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia at ECA International.
As a result, the cost of an expatriate pay package in the country is now lower than other Asian countries such as Taiwan and Thailand, he added.
“The gap between the cost of employing expatriates in Singapore as compared to Hong Kong has also widened in the past year to 18%, representing a continuation of a long-term trend,” Quane observed.
The key reason for Singapore’s more favourable ranking in terms of costs is lower taxes as compared to most of the other Asian locations in our rankings, and lower costs associated with benefits as compared to other high-cash salary locations such as Hong Kong, according to ECA.
As such, this helps moderate the fact that cash salaries earned by expatriates in Singapore are the second highest in the region, where the average cash salary paid to a mid-level expatriate is US$88,045 (S$119,927) — a cost that is only slightly lower than the Hong Kong average,” Quane pointed out.
In contrast, the cost of an expatriate pay package in Hong Kong continued to grow throughout 2019.
The average price of employing a mid-level expatriate worker in the city now costs a company US$284,466, including an average cash salary of US$88,126, according to ECA.
“Hong Kong stood out against the global trend of decreasing costs of expatriate packages in 2019 and now represents one of the only locations in the rankings that saw all aspects of the package increase,” Quane noted.
Mid-level expatriate employees in Hong Kong may also be happy to hear that the average cash salary increased in 2019 and now stands at US$ 88,126 per annum — the highest in the region, he added.
However, while this increase is seen to be positive as compared to the rest of Asia and even the world, the rate of increase was significantly lower than in previous years – coming in at 1.2%, according to ECA.
Meanwhile, China remains the third most expensive location in the world to employ expatriate workers, despite the overall cost of employing an expatriate in the country and their average salary dropping by more than US$ 6,000 and US$ 2,262 respectively, survey results indicate.
The average cost of employing a mid-level expatriate in China now stands at US$ 303,567 per year in total, ECA added.