Singapore Better for Doing Business Than Hong Kong
SINGAPORE – While expatriates working in the financial sector can earn more in Hong Kong, Singapore is deemed as a much better place for doing business, reported Bloomberg on Wednesday morning (6 July, SGT).
Based on statistics compiled by the news outlet from a recent poll by recruitment company Robert Walters, the remuneration for top finance jobs in the Chinese territory exceed those in the city-state. And the wage gap has increased significantly in the past five years.
In 2022, the salaries of directors and C-level positions are over 60 percent higher in Hong Kong. Back in 2017, the gap was just 25 percent.
The huge disparity is partly due to the difficulties faced by Hong Kong to retain talent amidst its harsh COVID rules and the effects of the controversial national security law.
“The financial services candidate pool in Hong Kong is shrinking,” disclosed John Mullally, Regional Director for southern China and Hong Kong financial services at Robert Walters. The company has forecasted that the percentage of expatriates in that pool will continue to drop.
Despite the aforementioned salary gap, Singapore now surpasses Hong Kong as a place to do business and to grow wealth.
As per a November Fitch Solutions report, the city-state has lowest business environment risks in the world, followed by Switzerland and then Hong Kong. For instance, Singapore’s benchmark stock index has been less volatile than that of its rival, as the Straits Times Index is down roughly 4 percent since 2017, while the Chinese territory’s Hang Seng Index has slumped nearly 15 percent in the same period.
Furthermore, the office rental growth and average monthly rents in Hong Kong have stagnated so far this year, while that in Singapore’s central business district (CBD) has accelerated between Q3 2021 and Q1 2022, according to figures from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).
Office occupants from the tech sector, as well as consumer and non-banking financial services industries have driven demand for office space so far this year. In addition, JLL has projected that the city-state’s office market will continue to gain from the re-opening of its international border and the return-to-office momentum.