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Hire Top Talent From These APAC Countries

The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region has become a popular destination for international hiring. The region boasts high economic growth, a dynamic local business environment, substantial government investments in infrastructure to support international business, a large pool of educated and highly skilled workers, and lower labor costs.

As a result, many businesses are establishing their global operations in APAC’s low-cost markets, as they reassess their plans amid economic uncertainties. By expanding in Asia, companies can cut costs associated with non-core tasks and free up funds for development. Moreover, it enables them to rapidly scale their workforce in response to post-pandemic spikes.

In this blog, we’ve identified the top ten APAC locations that can help global companies beat the talent crunch.

Top 10 Talent Destinations in APAC

Singapore: The Most Prominent Talent Destination in Asia‍

Singapore is the most prominent talent destination in Southeast Asia. In the findings published in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report, Singapore ranks second out of 190 countries. Singapore’s open trade policy provides few restrictions for businesses. The country’s strengths are:

  • Simple tariff structure
  • Exceptional border administration
  • High-quality transport infrastructure
  • Superior customs services

Given its superior geographical location and infrastructure, companies all over the globe look to establish themselves in Singapore to meet global market demands. In fact, Singapore’s IT sector has snowballed in recent years, thanks in part to the government’s deliberate emphasis on growing technology and innovation.

For expanding companies, Singaporeans communicate effectively in English because the country’s education system adopted the language as the lingua franca to facilitate communication among Singapore’s various races. Moreover, Singapore is also known for being open to digital services and technology. These enable people to use ICT well to contribute to and benefit from a digitized economy and society focused on the future.

India: The Tech Talent Hub of Asia‍

India has historically been a great place to outsource IT services, call centers, and customer service centers. In India’s Skills Report 2023, 50% of India’s workforce is highly employable, with 52.8% of women being highly employable and 47.2% of men being only employable. The proportion of employable women in the workforce has risen to 52.8%, compared to 47.2% for men. In the last year and a half, the country’s cross-state and cross-border hiring have increased due to the growth of remote work and a robust digital framework.

For expanding companies, India is best known for its pool of tech-savvy talent and young workforce. With a population of more than 1.4 billion people, the country has an incredibly vast labor pool that is exceptionally low-cost. For example, a software developer may be paid $400 monthly while possessing the same skills and experience as someone working in the West, whose salary is four to five times higher. Another advantage is that Indian workers are fluent in English because it is one of the country’s official languages.

Philippines: The Human Capital Pool of Asia‍

In recent years, the outsourcing industry has swelled in the Philippines, making it the call center and BPO capital of the world. However, today, the Philippines has quickly outgrown the  “call center capital”  tag and has become one of the most lucrative hubs for high skilled workers in the world.

From an economic standpoint, the Philippines has been thriving even before the pandemic. It has surpassed the economies of the majority of ASEAN nations, and has been playing an important role in the envisioned single market and production base where there is a free flow of goods, services, investments, capital, and labor. In fact, the Philippines’ economy has grown at one of the fastest rates in the world. The latest supplement to the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2022 forecasts pegged growth at 7.4% in 2022, up from the September 2022 forecast of 6.5%, owing to the increased investments and consumption spurred by stronger fundamentals and better governance.

For expanding companies, the Philippines’ talent, equipped with a global culture and emerging technology literacy, is driving the surge in different specialized skills. This makes the country perfect for companies looking for skills and low-cost options.

Indonesia: The Apple of Every Investor’s Eye ‍

Touted as one of the fastest-growing economies in Indonesia, the archipelago nation has been the apple of every investor’s eye over the last couple of years. ​​Indonesia is an emerging market economy. Despite the pandemic, it has been an upper-middle-income country over the last decade. In fact, Indonesia is now a member of the Group of 20 (G20) countries.

The industries in Indonesia see a steady positive growth. About 41% of the sectors will likely increase employment opportunities, and about 63% of citizens will probably find new opportunities in the coming years.

For expanding companies, Indonesia is known for its literate workforce and warm attitude of the people – emanating from a predominantly tourist-friendly destination. Nonetheless, one point to remember is that the archipelago is a high-cost economy. The looming gap between the growing middle class and consumer spending and the increasing demand for infrastructure has put increased pressure on the supply.

Thailand: A Gateway to the Heart of Asia‍

Thailand is classified as an expanding economy, made evident by the country’s growing  service sector. In findings published in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report, Thailand ranks 21st out of 190 countries. Its strategic location – situated near China and India – has enabled it to become a gateway to the heart of Asia. Thailand is renowned for its steady economic growth, incentives for foreign businesses, and cost-effective local workforce.

Much of Thailand’s appeal for expanding companies stems from its open, market-oriented economy and growing digital initiatives supporting its local talent market. In fact, many young people are entering the job market, which has led to a rise in specialized skills and digital adoption. This encourages more global companies and direct investments and promotes technology transfer, economic development, and employment.

Malaysia: The Tourism Hotspot and Economic Powerhouse‍

Malaysia is a tourism hotspot with a diverse cultural heritage and an established economic setting. For more than a half-century, Malaysia’s growth has been fueled by the fast-developing mining, tourism, commerce, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing industries.

Malaysia’s economy grew at a slower pace in the fourth quarter of 2022 as stimulus measures and a low base impact dissipated. However, at 7.0%, growth remained above the long-term average of 5.1%. According to IMF 2020, Malaysia has the fourth-largest economy in Southeast Asia and a high density of knowledge-based industries.

Malaysia has many advantages for companies looking to expand globally, not the least of which is that the country ranks third among Asian Pacific countries in terms of English fluency. Like most Southeast Asian countries, it can offer significant labor cost savings compared to Western nations. It has an extensive IT labor pool, which explains the country’s rise in global companies hiring technical talent over the last 20 years.

Vietnam: The Next Economic Powerhouse‍

Despite undergoing a series of economic reforms, Vietnam, once considered a low-income economy, has now moved into the middle-income bracket – the middle class now accounts for more than 40% of the country’s population.

According to a Standard Chartered Bank report, Vietnam has become the top Southeast Asian country with a healthy economic recovery in 2022, ahead of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. Consequently, according to the World Bank, Vietnam’s GDP is expected to increase by at least 7% this year. Vietnam ranks 70th out of 190 economies in the ease of doing business index.

With a positive economic outlook and a smooth business environment, Vietnam is now becoming a destination for foreign trade and investment. Silicon Valley Venture Shop 500 Startups announced a micro-fund dedicated to Vietnam, hastening its route to becoming Southeast Asia’s next digital economic powerhouse.

For expanding companies, Vietnamese talent has high literacy and labor participation rates, and the government is attempting to enhance IT services capabilities by opening technical training centers and investing in e-learning.

Australia: The Main Gateway to the Rest of Asia‍

The services sector heavily dominates the Australian economy. With lively destinations, beautiful weather, and hundreds of job opportunities in various sectors, Australia is among the greatest nations to live and work in.

Australia survived the pandemic boldly, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics stated that its employment rates, which were earlier hit by the pandemic, jumped back with an increase of 5.1%. Despite a population of over 25 million, the unemployment rate is low at 3.5%.

For expanding companies, do note that Australia has a free-market economy. Moreover, Australia has shown good progress in terms of the job market. Its multicultural and welcoming society is perfect for young, qualified professionals and graduates. The education, science, and technology sector has grown considerably in the last year and has helped boost employment rates. From high-level technicians to creative graphic designers, techie experts, and artistic minds, a fantastic pool of talent is available for all these skills.

Bangladesh: Asia’s Rising Star ‍

Bangladesh has a developing market economy. Its economy is amongst the fastest growing economies in the world and the GDP is expected to grow by 6.6% in 2023. With remarkable progress in poverty reduction and strong ready-made garment exports, the economy has shown good signs in the past decade.

Agriculture employs nearly half of the population. Along with agriculture, the manufacturing and industrial sectors offer a variety of job opportunities to the country’s working-age population. But gradually, Bangladesh has also become a rising star in global talent since its IT industry began to blossom 14 years ago.

The global pandemic severely impacted the country, which slowed overall growth and left a more significant portion of the population unemployed and at risk. Despite all of the uncertainties, Bangladesh’s economy is now recovering.

For companies looking to hire in Bangladesh, do note that labor costs are low, and literacy and education levels are rising due to well-targeted government funding. Among Bangladesh’s recently adopted business-friendly policies was a plan to improve infrastructure and advance technical training. This strategy incorporated robotics, IoT, and artificial intelligence. Furthermore, their government launched several initiatives, including tax breaks, to boost its IT and outsourcing industries.

Sri Lanka‍

Sri Lanka is a peaceful island nation with a population of nearly 22 million people, has a rich cultural heritage and an increasingly ultra-cultured workforce, putting it in an excellent position to drive strong economic growth.

Sri Lanka recently became a higher middle-income country, with a GDP per capita approaching $4,014 (2021). The country’s economy is shifting from predominantly rural to urban areas, strongly emphasizing services and manufacturing.

Sri Lanka’s 2025 economic policy vision aims to solidly embed numerous principles involving the social market economy, providing economic dividends to all. The government ensures that its skill pool can meet the rising need for talent in the country and helps match the job market’s needs.

Many companies that outsource work prefer Sri Lanka and its skilled workforce, with decisions often centered on lower-than-average outsourcing tax rates. The government focuses on telecommunications and infrastructure, English as the primary business language, and cost savings.

Hire in Asia-Pacific effortlessly with Multiplier

Hiring in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region can be a complex and challenging process, yet it can be highly rewarding with the correct approach and understanding of local culture and regulations. It is essential to have a solid understanding of the job market, available talent, and the legal and cultural frameworks that affect hiring practices in the region.

Download our free guide to learn how Multiplier can make the process easier. With our expertise in local laws, tax systems, and international payroll, you can concentrate on growing your business rather than stressing over the little things.

Binita Gajjar
Binita Gajjar

Content Marketing Lead

Binita is an experienced Content Manager with demonstrated expertise in advertising, editing, journalism, publications, and copy editing. With a strong media and communication background, supported by a Masters in Art, Design and Communication focused in Design and Visual Communications, General from the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology University (CEPT) University, Binita is the epitome of reliable and talented.

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