Show them the money

HRM 19 Nov 2012

Japan is home to Asia’s highest expatriate packages. According to ECA’s latest MyExpatriate Market Pay Survey, the average total package for an expatriate middle manager in Japan is US$374,000.

Cities in Japan have some of the world’s highest costs of living, and expatriate salaries there are high because employers need to ensure that an assignee’s purchasing power is maintained in order to attract the right talent.

“The big challenge faced by many companies operating globally is the need to strike a balance between attracting the right talent, while remaining as cost effective as possible,” said Lee Quane, ECA’s Regional Director in Asia.

“A total package usually comprises of three elements: cash salary, benefits and tax. A net-to-net comparison of basic salaries provides an overview of the cash sums received in different markets. However, it isn’t until the benefits element of the package is taken into account that both HR and the assignee get a fuller picture of how competitive or attractive the package is.”

ECA’s survey also shows that the cash salary components of total packages, both in Hong Kong and mainland China are among the lowest in the region. However, unlike Hong Kong, the benefits component in mainland China is also relatively low, even in China’s more costly tier-one cities.

Leaving benefits out of the equation, cash salaries for assignees in India increased by 18% – the highest rate of increase in Asia. This was partly the result of the Indian Rupee weakening considerably against the US dollar and other major currencies. India was followed by Vietnam and Indonesia on the list of fastest rising wages for expatriates.

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