Wednesday 22nd June 2011

Unpacking after relocating overseas

New research issued by global relocation management services company Cartus Corporation reveals that the United States is a top destination for companies who are transferring their employees overseas.

The research, which is conducted every five years and is based on the number of employees that Cartus themselves have transferred during the previous five years, indicates that many countries throughout the world are experiencing significant increases in the volume of individuals that are being relocated to their shores by major corporations.

The findings reveal that relocations to Singapore have more than doubled in the last five years and the city-state now beats China and Switzerland as a top relocation destination. Discussing the results in Singapore newspaper The Straits Times, Cartus’ head of Asia-Pacific operations, Mr Kenneth Kwek said: “Singapore is one of the top expat destinations and this comes as no surprise as the city-state has a reputation for attracting foreign investors, companies and professionals.

Singapore has demonstrated strong resilience during the global economic crisis and many of our clients have chosen Singapore as part of their business expansion plans.”

“Schooling and health care have always been key factors that our assignees and their families find attractive about Singapore,” he added.

While some of the more traditional corporate relocation destinations have observed a change in rankings many new destinations have entered the scene as companies attempt to take advantage of some of the opportunities that are available in new markets. Discussing this, Kevin Kelleher, Cartus president and CEO said: "We work with many multinational companies whose volume of moves is a good indication of overall global business activity."

"We have noticed that even though their relocation volume may change year over year, most of the same locations have remained on our list as the major destinations for the employees that our clients send on international assignment—despite the changing economic landscape. Interestingly, however, this pattern is not mirrored in the less traditional markets, where activity is much more volatile and reflects the wide variety of business opportunities available in the global marketplace."

Emerging relocation destinations

According to the Cartus findings, Panama, South Korea and Poland are becoming increasingly popular destinations for company relocations, while Saudi Arabia, Austria and Thailand have exhibited significant decline.

The destinations whose relocation volumes have increased the most in the last five years include the United Arab Emirates who achieved 13th position overall, representing an increase of 6 places since 2006 and Brazil who were placed in 14th position overall, with an increase of 10 places since 2006.

"It’s clear that as market opportunities present themselves in many of these non-traditional relocation markets, companies are beginning to transfer employees there in greater numbers," commented Kelleher.

"Companies will need to be well informed and positioned to take advantage of a broader array of countries, regions, and cultures than ever before."

The top 10 in Cartus' Rankings of Top 25 Relocation Destinations

Country 2011 Results 2010 Results
United States 1 1
United Kingdom 2 2
Singapore 3 7
China 4 3
Switzerland 5 4
India 6 9
Germany 7 5
Hong Kong 8 11
Japan 9 6
Canada 10 8

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