Japan offers the best pay and benefit packages to expats in the Asia Pacific, says a new survey.
A middle manager on assignment in Japan costs a company around US$367,000 – up 12% from last year due to the yen strengthening against the dollar.
Other Asia Pacific countries offer expats much less for the same role, according to the 2017 MyExpatriate Market Pay from global consultancy ECA International.
Taiwan is one of the cheaper locations, with middle manager packagers coming in at about $217,600 – down 7% from 12 month’s ago.
Lee Quane, ECA International’s Regional Director for Asia said: “For companies looking to set up operations in the region, Taiwan offers a more cost-effective alternative to other major countries here in terms of the costs to companies of attracting expatriate staff.
Generous pay packages
“In US dollar terms, the total cost of expatriate packages in Taiwan is the lowest in five years with the Taiwanese dollar depreciating against the US dollar over this period.”
He explained that companies putting together expat pay packages have to consider three main expenses – salary, tax and benefits, such as accommodation, schooling and cars.
“Despite expatriate salary packages in Taiwan continuing to be more generous than cities in mainland China for middle managers, the fact that benefits and tax rates in Taiwan are substantially lower than in tier one cities in China means that the total cost of an expatriate package in Taiwan remains considerably less than China, which will is a key factor for businesses deciding between locations,” said Quane.
Tax is crucial
The average total package for a middle manager in China averages $282,500.
Elsewhere, expat pay in Hong Kong has dropped to $265,500, the lowest level since 2012. Malaysia is also one of the lowest at $168,000, falling behind Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
“Companies also need to be aware of the tax element of the package. This can considerably increase assignment costs, as in the case of India, where nearly half of the total expatriate package is consumed by tax,” says the report.
“India has the third highest total expatriate pay packages in the region, at $277 900. When tax is excluded, India falls out of the regional top 10 locations.”