Base Salaries of Singapore’s Top Management Remain Far Higher Than in Greater China

Although Indonesia stands out among ASEAN’s emerging economies for having the highest base salaries, it lags far behind the most developed economy in the region, Singapore, according to new research by Willis Towers Watson.

Across the job grades from professional level to top management, base salaries in Singapore are approximately 3%-10% higher than those of Hong Kong, which is the highest paying economy in Greater China.

Singapore pays 28%-52% more than China at the middle management to senior and top management levels. The largest gap is at the professional level where Singapore pays more than twice that of China.

“Singapore has always been a leading economy in the region. As it continues to enhance its competitiveness in the international arena, it wants to bring in top talent with knowledge of best practices from all over the world, so offering globally competitive salaries is an important part of that process,” said Sambhav Rakyan, Data Services Practice Leader, Asia Pacific at Willis Towers Watson.

“In terms of Greater China, Hong Kong has long been a hub for international talent; its gap with Singapore narrows once Hong Kong’s more favourable tax rates are taken into account.”

Rakyan added that base salaries in China are likely to stay high to attract talent given that China is putting greater emphasis on quality and sustainability in its products and services. Furthermore, the integration of its financial markets with the rest of the world means that salaries in that sector will need to be globally competitive to attract and retain the best talent.

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