Asian salary increases well above global
average according to survey
Asian workers are to continue receiving the highest
salary increases worldwide, according to the ECA International’s Salary
Trends Survey 2007/2008, with average figures for the region forecast to be
7.3%, well above the global average of 5.9%.
ECA’s survey contains information collected from multinational companies
about actual salary increases for 2007 and predicted salary increases for
2008. Including data analysis in the context of economic conditions, the
survey is used by international companies to monitor and benchmark company
salary levels in local markets around the world.
Singapore’s workers can expect salary increases of 5%. While this increase
is below the regional average, this is up on last year’s 4.5% increase –
reflecting a longstanding trend of rising salary increases in the country.
“For a developed economy country such as Singapore this level of wage
increase is high. Most other developed economies in our survey are showing
forecast wage increases of approximately 4%,” states Lee Quane, General
Manager of ECA International. “This can be explained partly by Singapore’s
robust economic growth in 2007 and partly by the fact that companies are
facing a relatively tight labour market, which looking into 2008 shows
little sign of changing.”
In Hong Kong, despite a strong economy and tight labour force, salary
increases are expected to remain at 4% - the same as in the previous two
years. This is the second lowest rate in the region and 3.3 percentage
points below the regional average.
China’s salary increases are anticipated to remain static at 8%.
“While workers in China and Singapore receive lower salaries than their Hong
Kong counterparts, the fact that they will be enjoying significantly higher
salary increases means that the salary gap between these locations will
continue to narrow,” explains Quane.
The Philippines is forecast to join India, Indonesia, Vietnam and China in
2008 as the fifth Asian country in the top ten seeing the largest salary
increases in the survey. Salary increases in the region are predicted to be
over 25% higher than they were in 2005 and for the first time the region’s
salary increases are expected to overtake those of Eastern Europe where wage
rises are showing signs of starting to stabilise.
Regionally, India and Vietnam are expected to see the biggest increases when
compared to last year’s salary rises. In India the 14% salary rise is
significantly up on last year’s highs of 12.6%, while Vietnam’s 10%
prediction shows a notable increase on the 8.5% salary increments given in
Japan is expected to experience the region’s lowest salary increases again
this year. They are forecast to remain at 3% - the same as in 2007.
Within the region, real wage increases - the difference between
actual salary increases and inflation – have shown a rising trend in recent
years. However, unexpectedly fast inflation growth over the past three
months prompted by significant rises in oil, food and accommodation costs,
will counter-balance many of these high salary increases considerably. Most
locations in Asia will therefore see lower rates of real wage increases than
“This latest upswing in inflation, which has caught many people by surprise,
will have an impact on real salary increases in 2008,” says Quane. “When
many companies calculated salary increases for 2008, inflation forecasts
were relatively low. Inflation in Singapore, for example, is now around two
and a half times higher than anticipated in October forecasts, so employees
here are likely to experience relatively subdued real income rises in
comparison to previous years. The same goes for major economies such as
China, Korea and Taiwan.”
“The combination of lower real wage increases, together with a relatively
tight labour market in many Asian economies, will become a headache for
companies seeking to attract and retain talented staff in 2008.” Quane adds.
“Companies will need to consider revising their forecast salary increases
during 2008 or provide higher salary increases next year to make up for this
year’s relatively low increase in real incomes.”
Globally, Indian workers will again receive the largest salary
increases in 2008, which are anticipated to be 14%. India is followed by
Argentina (12.7%), Indonesia (11.3%) and Russia (11%). These high increments
are mainly the result of fast economic growth and widespread skills
shortages, which are prompting companies to pay more for talent while
keeping pace with the inevitable inflation that comes with economic
At the other end of the scale, companies are forecasting that workers in
Switzerland, Japan, France Austria and Germany will be receiving the lowest
salary increases this year.
Elsewhere, the UAE is expected to see the biggest improvement on last year,
according to the survey, with salary increases forecast to be 8.7% – a whole
1.7 percentage points above last year’s rate. As this part of the world
continues to experience robust growth, other countries in the region are
also likely to record relatively high salary increases.
The biggest fall in salary increases since last year is forecast for
Slovakia. Companies there are predicting wage increases of 5.5%, down 1.3%
percentage points on last year.
Although salary increases in Eastern Europe are showing signs of
stabilising, wage growth remains relatively high there, with a regional
average of 7%. Western Europe continues to be the region with the lowest
expected salary increases, averaging 3.9% - almost 50% lower than increases
forecast for Asia.
In Latin America, companies in Argentina are forecasting salary increases to
rise from 11.3% in 2007 to 12.7% in 2008. This is almost double the regional
average of 6.4%. (Source ECA International)
Thai travel agents act to
minimize threats to business
2008 predicted to be difficult year
The Association of Thai Travel Agents and the Thai Hotels Association have
predicted another difficult year for the Thai tourism industry, and hope
that the new government will come up with a clear policy to keep the
industry afloat. The Thai Prime Minister was expected to name the Cabinet’s
appointed tourism and sports minister this week. Both associations plan to
meet with the new minister and seek his or her support in tourism policy and
marketing. The THA president, Chanin Donavanik, said that the global
economic slowdown, rising oil prices and the constant negative press
coverage on Suvarnabhumi Airport are factors threatening growth in the Thai
He added that Thai hotels will face more competition when about 30,000 new
rooms in higher category hotels come online nationwide by 2010. About 12,000
new rooms are expected to open this year. In view of these challenges, both
Chanin and the ATTA president, Apichart Sankary, urged member hotels,
inbound agents and tour operators to step up their marketing efforts. “The
hotel industry will have to work harder this year, but I hope we will able
to wade through all the problems,” Chanin said.
Skål Bangkok invites members to special luncheon meeting
Presidential chain to be given to the new President
Skål International Thailand is holding a very special luncheon meeting for
all its members on Tuesday, February 12 at the China Room II, on the 4th
floor of the Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, Bangkok. The purpose of the
meeting is to enable members to witness the handover of the Presidential
chain from the past President, Mr. Brian Sinclair Thomson, to the new
incoming President Mr. Andrew Wood. There will also be a keynote speech from
Natwut Amornvivat, the new President of the Thailand Convention and
Exhibition Bureau, which will be his first major address to the tourist
The meeting will begin with a “welcome” drink at 12.00 noon; lunch will be
served from 12.30 p.m., followed by the address by the guest speaker.