Despite lower labour costs elsewhere in the region, key strengths such as the rule of law help maintain Hong Kong's appeal to overseas companies. That was the message of Lee Quane, Regional Director, Asia for ECA International, the global provider of solutions for companies that send employees on international assignment. He was speaking at the launch of ECA's Salary Trends Survey results.
The survey revealed that Hong Kong's workers are likely to receive pay increases averaging 4.5% next year, the ninth-highest increase in the region. While Hong Kong remains a more expensive place to employ staff than many of its neighbours, it also has certain attributes that competing markets in the region cannot match.
"When companies are deciding where to establish their international operations, the cost of employing staff is obviously a major concern, but it's not the only one," said Quane. "Companies also need to look at where their markets are, and whether there are other elements that will have an impact on their investment. One of the main reasons why multinational organisations still have regional operations in Hong Kong rather than China is the strength of the rule of law here."
Quane says that supply and demand in Hong Kong labour market, fuelled by a relatively buoyant economy, is one of the factors that will drive pay increases next year.
"In Hong Kong, the workforce is finite – there's a relatively small pool of workers to recruit. And if you're in an upward swing in the economy, as Hong Kong has been over the last couple of years, we see greater demand for labour as companies add people to achieve growth. This demand produces increased salary expectations on the part of employees."
While this may sound like good news, individual Hong Kong workers are unlikely to be celebrating: inflation next year is also tipped to be 4.5%, meaning that wages will stay flat in real terms.
The survey, published last week, collected salary data from 273 multinational companies worldwide, including 99 in Hong Kong.
Read the ECA International News Release
View Lee Quane's briefing:
Factors that impact a location's competitiveness as a place of business
About ECA International
ECA is the world's leader in the development and provision of solutions for the management and assignment of employees around the world. Delivering data, expertise, systems and support in formats which suit its clients, ECA's offer includes a complete 'out-source' package of calculations, advice and services for companies with little international assignment management experience or resource; subscriptions to comprehensive online information and software systems for companies with larger requirements; and custom policy and system development projects for companies who manage thousands of international assignees around the world.
Issued on behalf of ECA International by EBA Communications
For more information or to arrange interviews with Lee Quane, please contact:
Adam Barty email@example.com +852 2537 8022
Raymond Woo firstname.lastname@example.org +852 2537 8022