Salaries in Asia Pacific are projected to increase between 2.3% and 12% next year amid positive business outlook among firms in the region, a recent survey shows.

According to global professional services firm Towers Watson, in its 2012 Third Quarter Asia Pacific Salary Budget Planning Survey, companies in Singapore anticipate an average salary increase of 4.5% in 2013, while companies from Vietnam and India are likely to see a double-digit salary increase of 12%.

Singapore’s job market is expected to remain tight due to work pass policies and a static unemployment rate of 2.0%.

The survey also showed that business outlook in the region has improved significantly over the past six months, with most of respondents – almost two-thirds of 13 markets in Asia Pacific – remaining optimistic about their business performance and expecting to improve by the end of 2012. The rate of companies with a negative outlook plunged to 10% from 28%.

Around 91% said they plan to hire new employees, particularly for sales, marketing and engineering positions.

China, India, Japan, Singapore and Thailand will see higher voluntary staff turnover to pursue better opportunities (43.6%), higher salaries (38.8%), and greater flexibility in work arrangements (12.9%). In contrast, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam expect to have lower voluntary staff turnover in 2013.