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Southeast Asia vs Eastern Europe: Choosing The Right Market

Today, businesses often look beyond their borders to find software development solutions that not only meet their requirements but also fit their budget constraints.

There are two promising regions - Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe - both known for their thriving IT sectors and competitive advantages. Understanding the unique value propositions that these regions offer will guide businesses and decision-makers.

1. What Are The Benefits of Overseas Software Outsourcing?

1.1. Cost Effectiveness

For example, a survey by Statista found that in 2022, the average cost of an hour of work by a software expert in Vietnam was between $15 and $30. This is way less compared to North American countries, where it can escalate from $150 to $200 for an hour of work. The big difference in labor costs helps businesses stretch their budgets while still getting high-quality software.

Additionally, by choosing to outsource overseas, businesses can save considerably on various expenses they have to spend if they do in-house software development. This could include officeshiring new employeesinsurancetraining, and more.

By avoiding the need to establish and maintain in-house teams, businesses can use the budget they save for new ideasmarketing, and making the business better. The savings from outsourcing allow businesses to allocate resources smartly and make the software development process faster, helping their business grow and succeed.

1.2. Access to Skilled Labor

One of the most significant advantages of choosing to outsource software development overseas is gaining access to a vast pool of highly skilled professionals. Different regions around the world have varying levels of talent availability in the tech industry. Some regions, such as certain countries in Asia and Eastern Europe, have a surplus of skilled software engineers and developers.

For businesses located in nations where the availability of local talent in the tech sector is limited, outsourcing becomes a crucial avenue to connect with these skilled professionals. They can tap into this international talent pool and collaborate with highly proficient engineers who bring specialized expertise and years of experience to the table.

Moreover, outsourcing is a strategic solution for companies lacking skilled staff or that have not yet established an in-house IT team for software development. Instead of struggling to find and hire suitable talent locally, these businesses can leverage outsourcing to bridge the skills gap. It allows them to access a broader range of expertise without the need for significant investments in recruiting, training, or managing an internal technical team.

1.3. Accelerate Product Development and Market Release

Opting for overseas software outsourcing can significantly speed up product development and market release timelines. When working with foreign software teams that have strong technical expertise, projects can be finished on time and with high quality.

These experts are skilled and well-versed in the latest technologies, guaranteeing timely product completion and a speedy, smoothly operated process of market launch.

By using the skills of these teams, businesses can release their software product in less time, going from an idea to a fully functional product that's ready for the market.

It helps businesses quickly put their product out there, be one of the first, and stay ahead of their competition. Also, a quicker market release allows people to start using it sooner, and the business can have a faster return on investment (ROI).

1.4. Little Management Efforts

Compared to managing an in-house workforce, which involves a lot of paperwork and dealing with things such as paperwork, healthcare benefits, and other HR-related responsibilities, outsourcing significantly reduces the management efforts required.

When a company outsources software work to another country, the responsibility for managing the hired professionals falls largely on the outsourcing partner.

This means that businesses can focus more on the strategic aspects of the project, such as setting goals, overseeing progress, and ensuring alignment with business objectives, without getting bogged down by administrative intricacies.

The outsourcing partner takes care of handling day-to-day management tasks, leaving the client with the freedom to concentrate on the critical aspects of the software development project.

Consequently, this streamlined management process allows for efficient project execution and optimal utilization of resources, ultimately contributing to the successful and timely completion of the software project.

2. Why Do Software Rates Differ Between Regions?

Despite the advantages, the price of software services varies depending on region due to key factors:

2.1. Cost of living

One of the reasons why software rates vary from region to region is the cost of living. In countries where the cost of living is high, the prices for software services tend to be higher compared to less developed countries.

For example, Asian countries usually have a lower cost of living index, typically ranging from around 20 to just under 60, while all Western European countries have a cost of living index that's over 60.

This difference in cost of living is reflected in the rates for software development. In Asia, the rates are more affordable, typically falling in the range of $20 to $40 per hour.

On the other hand, in Western Europe, where the cost of living is higher, the rates for software development can be quite steep, ranging from $75 to $150 per hour.

The cost of living directly impacts the pricing of software services, making it important for businesses to consider these factors when choosing where to outsource their software development projects.

2.2. Professional level

The level of expertise within a software development team also plays a significant role in determining the cost of the software service. Highly skilled and experienced workers command higher hourly rates due to their proficiency and ability to deliver exceptional quality work.

For instance, a senior developer with over 5 years of experience will demand a higher payment per hour compared to a junior developer with only 2 years of experience.

These experienced professionals bring in-depth knowledge, problem-solving capabilities, and a refined skill set acquired over years of working in the field. Their expertise often results in more efficient and effective development processes, ultimately delivering a superior end product.

2.3. Tech Stack

The technology stack, or "tech stack" for short, is a crucial aspect that influences the cost of software development projects. It consists of various components and tools needed for a specific project, such as programming languages, frameworks, libraries, databases, and more.

The combinations within the tech stack can vary based on the type of software development service being provided, such as web development, mobile app development, e-commerce, and more.

For instance, web development projects might commonly use technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and frameworks such as React or Angular. Mobile app development, on the other hand, often involves languages like Swift or Kotlin for iOS and Java or Flutter for Android. E-commerce projects may require platforms like Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce, alongside frontend and backend technologies, to create a seamless online shopping experience.

Each technology within the stack may have its own associated costs, including licensing fees, development time, and the expertise required. Therefore, the choice of technology stack is a significant factor in determining the overall cost of a software development project.

It's essential for businesses and developers to carefully select the appropriate tech stack that aligns with the project's requirements and budget constraints while ensuring optimal performance and user experience.

2.4. Project Complexity

Several factors contribute to the complexity of a project, including the project scope, product requirements, team size, duration, and more. The more intricate and extensive these elements are, the more complex the project becomes, resulting in a higher overall price for development.

A project's scope refers to the scale and features of the desired end product. A broader project scope and a more complex development process necessitate a higher investment of resources and expertise. Similarly, detailed and specific product requirements increase the complexity of the project, often requiring specialized skills and technologies.

The size of the development team needed for a project also plays a role. Larger teams mean more coordination and management, adding to the project's complexity and, consequently, its cost. Additionally, the project's duration, intricacies, and potential risks contribute to its overall pricing.

2.5. Reputation

The reputation of a software development team is a significant factor that influences project pricing. Teams with a strong reputation in the industry, backed by a track record of successful and high-quality past projects, often command higher prices for their services. This is because their reputation reflects their expertise, reliability, and ability to deliver exceptional results.

Clients are willing to invest more in reputable teams as they have confidence in their capabilities to meet project requirements, adhere to timelines, and deliver a superior end product. A good reputation indicates a level of trustworthiness and professionalism that instills confidence in clients, justifying the higher pricing.

Furthermore, reputable software development teams often bring a wealth of experience, best practices, and a proven approach to project execution. This can lead to more efficient and effective development processes, ultimately resulting in a product of higher quality.

3. A comparison between developer hourly rates in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia

3.1. Eastern Europe

The prices for outsourcing IT services in Eastern Europe are influenced by important facts, especially labor costs and economic conditions in the European Union (EU).

Paying attention to and understanding these facts is important to setting fair prices and making sure the rates match what's happening in the market and the economy.

According to these key factors, there are the average hourly rates of software development in some Eastern European countries:

a. Ukraine:

Hourly rates: $25–$40

Major IT Hubs: Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Dnipro

Ukraine offers a highly skilled IT workforce, cost-effective solutions, and a robust tech ecosystem. The country is known for its talented pool of software developers, engineers, and designers adept in various technologies, providing high-quality services at competitive rates.

Ukraine's tech industry places a strong emphasis on innovation, actively engaging in advanced technologies. Additionally, the supportive government policies further contribute to Ukraine's reputation as a favored hub for software development outsourcing.

b. Romania:

Hourly rates: $25-$50

Major IT Hubs: Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași

Romania is an attractive choice for complex software projects. Romanian software development companies excel at delivering intricate projects, showcasing expertise in software architecture, application development, and emerging technologies like AI and machine learning.

Romania presents a competitive and promising landscape for businesses looking for effective and top-notch software development services, supported by a strong IT infrastructure, an expanding start-up ecosystem, and government initiatives.

c. Czech Republic:

Hourly rates: $35-$55

Major IT Hubs: Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Pilsen

The Czech Republic is witnessing an upswing in technology-related activities, attracting talent, startups, and established tech companies. The local government and institutions are also actively promoting the tech industry, offering support and incentives to fuel growth and innovation.

The Czech Republic's strategic location within Europe, skilled workforce, and supportive business environment position it as a promising destination for IT and software development.

d. Hungary:

Hourly rates: $55 to $70

Major IT Hubs: Budapest, Debrecen, Szeged. Pécs, Győr

The Hungarian government and local organizations are actively promoting the tech industry, offering support and incentives to fuel growth and innovation. Hungary is swiftly establishing itself as a prominent player in the global software development outsourcing arena.

Hungary's IT sector is in a state of constant evolution, adapting to emerging technologies and aligning with global IT trends like AI, machine learning, data analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

e. Poland:

Hourly rates: $35 to $55

Major IT Hubs: Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Łódź

Poland boasts a highly educated IT workforce, often equipped with advanced degrees and certifications. This talent pool is well-versed in a range of programming languages, frameworks, and technologies.

Polish developers often demonstrate a strong understanding of business requirements, enabling them to provide valuable insights and solutions to complex technical challenges.

Advantages of Overseas Software Outsourcing in Eastern Europe:

  • Abundant Developer Pool: Eastern Europe is home to a vast pool of over 1 million software developers. This large talent pool provides a rich resource to choose from for various software development needs.
  • Highly Skilled Workforce: The region boasts a highly skilled and educated workforce, with many professionals holding degrees in computer science, engineering, and related fields. Their expertise covers a wide array of technologies and programming languages.
  • English Proficiency: A significant advantage is the high level of English fluency among professionals in Eastern Europe. This facilitates effective communication, collaboration, and understanding of project requirements, which is crucial for successful software development projects.

Disadvantages of Overseas Software Outsourcing in Eastern Europe:

  • Higher Cost Compared to Southeast Asia: One of the primary drawbacks of outsourcing to Eastern Europe is the higher cost of services when compared to regions like Southeast Asia. The hourly rates and overall project costs can be more expensive, impacting the cost-effectiveness of the outsourcing venture.
  • Frequent Holidays and Time Off: European countries, including those in Eastern Europe, observe more holidays compared to other regions like Southeast Asia. This can affect project timelines and lead to delays, especially if key team members are on vacation or businesses are closed during public holidays. Managing project schedules around these holidays requires careful planning and coordination.

3.2. Southeast Asia

In Southeast Asia's IT outsourcing market, various factors intricately shape pricing dynamics. Annual salary trends and labor costs significantly influence rates, often prompting adjustments to retain talent and sustain operations.

Economic growth, inflation, and shifts in currency exchange rates impact overall costs and are reflected in the service pricing. Government policies and compliance requirements, including alterations in tax regulations, also contribute to rate adjustments.

The cost of living index and the competitive landscape further dictate the equilibrium between maintaining competitiveness and ensuring a sustainable, satisfactory quality of life for the workforce.

These multifaceted factors affected the average hourly rate in some Southeast Asia countries:

a. Vietnam:

Hourly rates: $20–$40

Major IT Hubs: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hai Phong, Can Tho

Vietnam's tech industry is characterized by a skilled workforce, cost-effectiveness, and a thriving entrepreneurial spirit, making it an appealing destination for IT and software development.

Vietnamese software development firms offer cost-effective services without compromising on quality, making them attractive to businesses seeking to optimize their budgets.

MLTech Soft, a Vietnamese software development firm, is ranked in the Top 10 software development companies in Vietnam, as reviewed and verified by Clutch. MLTech Soft stands out for its ability to deliver high-quality services at cost-effective rates. This makes them an appealing choice for businesses looking to optimize their budgets without sacrificing quality. You may find MLTech Soft on other qualified B2B review platforms such as Design Rush, GoodFirms or The Manifest

b. Philippines:

Hourly rates: $25-$50

Major IT Hubs: Metro Manila, Cebu City, Davao City, Iloilo City

With a vast pool of well-educated and proficient IT experts proficient in various programming languages and technologies, the Philippines ensures a high standard of work.

Companies here specialize in a wide array of services including mobile app development, web development, software testing, and more. The government actively supports the IT and BPO industries, offering tax incentives and creating a conducive business environment.

c. India:

Hourly rates: $25–$40

Major IT Hubs: Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Mumbai, Chandigarh

India stands as a global powerhouse in the realm of software development outsourcing, underpinned by its immense pool of highly skilled IT professionals and a robust technological infrastructure.

This expertise is backed by a strong educational foundation and practical experience, ensuring high-quality output. Indian software development firms adhere to stringent quality standards, following industry best practices to deliver superior solutions.

d. Singapore:

Hourly rates: $25-$55

Major IT Hubs: One-North, Central Business District, Paya Lebar, Jurong Innovation District, Changi Business Park

Singapore focuses on innovation, robust infrastructure, and a highly skilled workforce, which places it at the forefront of technological advancements. Singapore's strategic location within the Asia-Pacific region adds to its appeal, providing a central hub for outsourcing projects.

Government initiatives supporting the IT sector, coupled with stringent data protection laws and intellectual property safeguards, create a secure and conducive environment for outsourcing.

Advantages of Overseas Software Outsourcing in Southeast Asia:

  • Large Talent Pool: Countries like India, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia have well-established IT sectors with plenty of talented individuals proficient in various programming languages and technologies.
  • Growing Skilled Workforce: The region is witnessing continuous growth in its skilled workforce, especially in the field of technology and software development. This ongoing expansion ensures a readily available and diverse talent pool to cater to diverse project requirements.
  • Evolving IT Industry: The IT industry in Southeast Asia is dynamic and constantly evolving. It keeps pace with the latest trends, technologies, and methodologies, ensuring that businesses have access to cutting-edge solutions and innovations for their projects.
  • Cost-Effectiveness Compared to Eastern Europe: Software development services in Southeast Asia are generally more cost-effective compared to regions like Eastern Europe or North America. The lower labor and operational costs make it an attractive option for businesses looking to optimize their budgets while maintaining high-quality work.
  • Government Initiatives: Several governments in Southeast Asia have implemented initiatives to promote and support the IT and outsourcing sectors. These initiatives may include tax incentives, subsidies, infrastructure development, and other forms of support, creating a conducive environment for outsourcing partnerships.

Disadvantages of Overseas Software Outsourcing in Southeast Asia:

  • Cultural and Language Barriers for Non-Asian Companies: Collaborating with teams from Southeast Asia may pose challenges related to cultural differences and language barriers, especially for non-Asian companies. Divergent working styles, communication norms, and business etiquette can potentially affect project understanding and coordination.
  • Varied Skill Levels in the IT Workforce: While the IT workforce in Southeast Asia is growing and evolving, there can be disparities in skill levels among developers. Not all developers possess the same level of expertise, which can lead to project risks such as low-quality code, slower development speed, and potential rework needs. It's crucial to carefully assess and select experienced and skilled developers for projects.

4. Key factors to consider for the right market choice

4.1. Location

Optimal geographic positioning and synchronization with your time zone are essential factors to weigh. A location that shares a similar time zone streamlines real-time communication and facilitates prompt issue resolution, thereby enhancing overall project efficiency.

Moreover, evaluating the ease of communication and accessibility of travel to the outsourcing destination is also important. Effective communication channels and reasonable travel feasibility foster strong collaboration and a deeper project understanding.

Considering nearshore collaboration, where the outsourcing location is in close geographical proximity to your home country, offers several advantages. This setup often leads to cost savings, reduced travel time, and smoother business transactions.

You must ensure that the outsourcing location complies with necessary legal frameworks and aligns with your business requirements, particularly concerning intellectual property rights, data privacy, and international standards.

4.2. Cultural barriers

Navigating potential cultural barriers is a significant consideration in overseas software outsourcing. The level of communication needed for a project is a key determinant.

Choosing an outsourcing partner that shares a similar culture and language can greatly benefit projects requiring high levels of engagement, frequent communication, and detailed reports. This helps prevent miscommunications and cultural conflicts, ensuring a smoother collaboration process.

For instance, if your company is based in Asia, outsourcing to a Southeast Asian software vendor may present fewer communication challenges compared to partnering with an Eastern European company.

The shared cultural understanding and linguistic familiarity promote effective and efficient communication, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and enhancing project outcomes.

4.3. Project’s financial budget

a. Southeast Asia:

When assessing overseas software outsourcing in Southeast Asia, the project's financial budget is one of the key factors to consider. This region is particularly suitable for projects with limited budgets, given the advantage of low labor costs.

The cost-effectiveness stemming from these lower labor expenses makes Southeast Asia an ideal destination for businesses aiming to save costs while maintaining a high standard of product quality.

However, caution is essential in this process. Business owners must conduct thorough research before selecting an outsourcing partner to avoid potential issues such as scams or imbalances between price and quality.

Due diligence helps in selecting a reputable outsourcing company that aligns with budget constraints while ensuring the desired level of product quality. Balancing cost savings with the assurance of a solid end product is a critical aspect of successful software outsourcing in Southeast Asia.

b. Eastern Europe:

Eastern Europe is particularly well-suited for projects with a relatively larger budget that prioritize exceptional quality. The higher labor costs and elevated levels of expertise in Eastern Europe necessitate a budget that can accommodate these factors while ensuring top-notch results.

Companies looking to invest more in a project and prioritize quality outcomes often find Eastern Europe an attractive destination for outsourcing. The skilled workforce and expertise available in the region contribute to a higher standard of work but at a cost.

Therefore, having a sizable budget and placing a premium on quality are fundamental considerations for successful software outsourcing in Eastern Europe.

4.4. Tech expertise

Currently, the professional backgrounds of Southeast Asian developers may be perceived as less competent compared to those in Eastern Europe. Consequently, Eastern Europe is often considered ideal for projects that prioritize high product quality and demand a high level of technical expertise.

However, the landscape is evolving rapidly. The number of skilled staff in Southeast Asia is growing, and the region is witnessing a significant upswing in tech expertise.

As a result, companies should carefully evaluate potential outsourcing partners and ensure that their professional level aligns with the specific requirements of their projects. It's essential to look for partners who can deliver the desired technical proficiency and contribute to the successful execution of the project.


Each region has its own unique advantages, and the right choice depends on aligning these advantages with the specific needs and goals of the project. MLTech Soft’s proficient teams are equipped to deliver outstanding software solutions tailored to your project requirements. Contact us now!


Why are software development hourly rates different between regions?

The average payment per hour varies from country to country due to five prominent reasons: cost of living, professional level, tech stack, project complexity, and reputation.

How do the hourly rates of developers in Eastern Europe differ from Southeast Asia?

The average rates per hour of Eastern European software developers are around $25 to $50, slightly higher than those of Southeast Asian engineers, which range between $20 and $45.

Should I choose an Eastern European or Southeast Asian partner?

In order to ensure your product quality, here are some factors you should carefully consider before choosing to outsource to either Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia: the geographic location of your company and your collaborative vendors, potential cultural barriers, your project’s financial budget, and the tech expertise of the software team.

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