There are many things that impact the cost of an expatriate assignment from generousness of policy packages, to housing costs, to changes in the cost of living, to the home/host tax impacts. If you have been managing a mobility programme that sends expatriates into several cities across the APAC region, then you have probably seen costs by location changing over the past few years. Employment Conditions Abroad or ECA reports the costs for expatriate packages in the region with their “MyExpatriate Market Pay” survey. Their recent report on the cost for a typical expatriate package for “middle managers” shows Japan as the most expensive location at $367,500 USD and Mainland China second at $282,500 USD on average. 

While Japan and China have increased in cost, there are other locations that have become more affordable for expatriate assignments. The cost of expatriate packages in Singapore and Malaysia have fallen 6% and 13%, respectively, over the past five years. The cost for a “middle manager” in Singapore ranks ninth in the region, currently averaging $235,500 USD, and Malaysia is the least expensive location at $168,000 USD.