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Last Updated: Monday, 14 November 2005, 18:46 GMT
China tops India on average pay
Indian share trader
Financial analysts in India earn less than their Chinese peers
Skilled workers earn more in China than in India, a new survey of pay in two of the world's fastest growing economies has revealed.

Project managers are paid twice as much in China than in India, according to human resources consultants Mercer.

Software engineers, sales staff, financial analysts and factory workers all earn more in China than India.

But average pay is rising faster in India and could surge further if demand for skilled workers outstrips supply.

Relocation factor

Mercer said wage differentials were one factor for multinational companies to consider when deciding where to base their operations.

Project manager: 12,173
Software engineer: 6,998
Accountant: 4,677
Sales rep: 2,649
Production worker: 1,214
Source: Mercer Human Resource Consulting

A string of US and European companies have relocated services to India because of its skilled workforce and low-wage costs.

At the same time, many firms - particularly in the financial services industry - are looking to establish a presence in China.

According to Mercer, the average annual salary of a Chinese project manager is 12,173, compared to about 5,220 in India.

Project manager: 5,220
Software engineer: 5,344
Accountant: 2,956
Sales rep: 2,464
Production worker: 964
Source: Mercer Human Resource Consulting

Accountants earn 4,677 in China compared to 2,956 in India while Chinese sales reps are paid 2,649 compared to 2,464 in India.

Even at the lowest end of the pay scale, skilled factory workers in China earn nearly 300 more a year than their Indian counterparts.

Competitive advantage

"While it is far cheaper to employ staff in both China and India than Europe or the US, India appears to have the advantage of slightly lower wage costs," said Mark Sullivan, worldwide partner at Mercer.

However, wage inflation is rising faster in India as demand for skilled workers for executive roles continues to outstrip the amount of suitable candidates.

Salaries rose by an average of 11.5% a year in India in the past five years compared to 7.5% in China.

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