U.K. Holds Second Position in List of Top 25 Global Relocation Destinations

New data from Cartus Corporation, the leading provider of global relocation management services, reveals that the top destinations for companies transferring employees around the world have remained relatively consistent since 2006, with the U.K. maintaining its second place position.

The figures, representative of all international moves completed by Cartus clients during the last five years, show that some key markets experienced relocation volume declines, while assignments in other regions had significant gains. For example, while China is often thought to be the fastest growing of global assignment destinations, relocation volume to Singapore more than doubled, outpacing China’s volume and placing Singapore third after the United States and the United Kingdom, up from a seventh place ranking in 2006.

Meanwhile, a number of new destination locations have begun to materialise as companies begin to take advantage of opportunities in non-traditional markets. In terms of regional representation, Europe had the most locations ranked among the top relocation destinations with 11 countries, followed by Asia-Pacific (8), North America (2), Central America (2), the Middle East (1), and South America (1).

“We work with many multinational companies whose volume of moves is a good indication of overall global business activity,” said Kevin Kelleher, Cartus president and CEO. “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.”

Five-Year Trend Shows Top 10 Global Relocation Destinations Holding Steady

The U.K. and the U.S. have remained the largest markets for inter-country assignments over the past five years. The U.S. has held onto the top spot since 2006, while the U.K. experienced a small gain in volume, which helped it claim the No. 2 spot.

The remaining locations at the top of the list include China and Switzerland—a key financial hub—at fourth and fifth, respectively. India took the sixth spot, jumping up from ninth place in 2006. Germany fell to seventh from its previous fifth-place ranking in 2006, while Hong Kong moved from 11th to eighth place over five years, due to a 77% international volume increase. Japan and Canada, which each experienced subtle volume shifts, round out the top 10.

New Destinations Appear

When looking beyond the top 10 ranked destinations to a broader view of the top 25, global relocation volume has shown significant shifts during the last five years, with several locations posting dramatic gains. Among the destinations whose relocation volume more than doubled are United Arab Emirates, which advanced six spots in the Cartus ranking and Brazil, which advanced 10 spots, to claim the 13th and 14th positions, respectively. New locations appearing on the Cartus list include Panama (No. 18), South Korea (No. 23) and Poland (No. 25). Meanwhile, the three destinations that appeared on the 2006 Top 25 list but dropped off in 2010 due to volume declines were Saudi Arabia, Austria and Thailand.

“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,” said 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.”

Cartus’ Ranking of Top 25 Relocation Destinations

2006                                                     2010 (previous mark)                

1. United States
2. United Kingdom
3. China
4. Switzerland
5. Germany
6. Japan
7. Singapore
8. Canada
9. India
10. France
11. Hong Kong
12. Netherlands
13. Australia
14. Ireland
15. Italy
16. Belgium
17. Spain
18. Malaysia
19. United Arab Emirates
20. Mexico
21. Sweden
22. Saudi Arabia #
23. Austria #
24. Brazil
25. Thailand #

1. United States (1)
2. United Kingdom (2)
3. Singapore (7)
4. China (3)
5. Switzerland (4)
6. India (9)
7. Germany (5)
8. Hong Kong (11)
9. Japan (6)
10. Canada (8)
11. France (10)
12. Australia (13)
13. United Arab Emirates (19)
14. Brazil (24)
15. Belgium (16)
16. Italy (15)
17. Netherlands (12)
18. Panama ^
19. Malaysia (18)
20. Ireland (14)
21. Mexico (20)
22. Spain (17)
23. South Korea ^
24. Sweden (21)
25. Poland ^

# – Dropped from list in 2010

^ – New to list in 2010

Note: Global relocation destination rankings are based on Cartus’ total international client volume. Cartus’ data is drawn from its own clients’ experience, which captures a significant portion of globally outsourced corporate assignments. The data represents international—not intra-country (domestic)—moves.

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Smart implementation of international assignments

According to the more than 500 human resources (HR) executives surveyed by KPMG, 81 percent of organizations “localize” part of their international assignees. In this manner, expatriate employees are transitioned from an expatriate to a local compensation and benefits package, and are then compensated by the host country. This therefore eliminates the more costly expatriate benefits and allowances.

This is just one cost saving measure highlighted from the 2010 Global Assignment Policies and Practices survey, conducted by KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm.  While organizations continue to send employees around the world to capitalize on business opportunities, they focus on new ways to better manage costs associated with their international assignment programs and this was the impetus behind the survey’s findings.

Achim Mossmann is managing director of Global Mobility Advisory Services in KPMG LLP’s International Executive Services (IES) practice and he had this to say.

“The current economic environment is prompting organizations of all sizes to look abroad for growth, while increased competition is forcing companies to drive down costs in all areas of their businesses.”

Some of these options include short-term assignments (STAs), currently being used by 80 percent of organizations, and permanent transfers which has been implemented by 47 percent of organizations. It’s also important to determine the cost of living adjustment (COLA) calculation on their assignee packages. Here, 31 percent of organizations surveyed are using an “efficient purchaser index” which is  a sliding scale measurement of the ratio of the cost-of-living between the home and host locations, which assumes that an experienced assignee is a “smart shopper” and is able to purchase goods and services more economically than the average more inexperienced assignee.

Almost half or 45 percent of respondents currently outsource parts of their international assignment programs to gain access to a service provider’s global resources and knowledge.

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HSBC sees China and America leading global mega-boom

The greatest global boom of all time has barely begun. Over the next forty years, economic growth will quicken yet further as the rising powers of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America reach their full stride.

Crunching everything from fertility rates to schooling levels and the rule of law, HSBC predicts that the world’s economic output will triple again by 2050, provided the major states can avoid conflict – trade wars, or worse – and defeat the Malthusian threat of food and water limits. Growth will rise to 3pc on average, up from 2pc over the last decade.

In a sweeping report entitled “The World in 2050″, the bank said China would snatch the top slot as expected, but only narrowly. China at $24.6 trillion (constant 2000 dollars) and the US at $22.3 trillion will together tower over the global economy in bipolar condominium – or simply the G2 – with India at $8.2 trillion far behind in third slot, and parts of Europe slithering into oblivion.

Turkey will vault past Russia, settling an Ottoman score. Egypt, Malaysia and Indonesia will all move into the top 20. Muslim societies may start to reassert an economic clout unseen since the late Caliphate. Yet Brazil may disappoint again, stalling at 7th place in 2050 as its birthrate slows sharply and bad schools exact their toll.

The surprise is how well the Anglo-Saxon states hold up under HSBC’s model, which is based on the theoretical work of Harvard professor Robert Barro. America’s high fertility rate (2.1) will allow it too keep adding manpower long after China’s workforce has begun to contract in 2020s and as even India starts to age in the 2040s.

An eightfold jump in the per capita income of China and India will keep growth brisk despite demographic headwinds, but they will not come to close to matching US living standards. Americans will be three times richer than the Chinese in 2050.

Britain at $3.6 trillion also fares well, slipping one rank to sixth place but pulling far ahead of Italy and France, and almost displacing Germany as Europe’s biggest economy. This is chiefly due to the UK’s healthy fertility rate (1.9), although sceptics might question whether a birthrate inflated by the EU’s highest share of unmarried teenager mothers is a good foundation for prosperity.

The low fertility of Korea (1.1), Singapore (1.2) Germany (1.3), Poland (1.3), Italy (1.4), Spain (1.4) and Russia (1.4), more or less dooms these countries to aging crises and population decline unless they open the floodgates to immigration.

Japan is already deep into this phase of atrophy, explaining why the country has had such trouble shaking off the effects of the Nikkei bust. Its total population began contracting outright since 2005. It shed a record 120,000 last year, and will shrink 37pc by 2050.

“Demography matters,” said Karen Ward, the report’s chief author. The “big losers” are the smaller states of Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, and Austria, which will mostly drop out of the top 30. “They may struggle to maintain their influence in global policy forums,” she said.

HSBC works from the assumption that mankind will avoid the energy crunch and overcome the eco-deficit, a term used to describe the world’s depletion rate of non-renewable assets. It calls for $46 trillion of investments in alternative forms of energy to break out of the carbon trap, and head off a supply crisis that could derail growth.

Feeding the world may be harder. The UN expects food demand to rise 70pc by 2050, yet the yield growth of crops has slowed to 1.5pc a year from 3.2pc in the 1960s. The number of people living in areas experiencing “severe water stress” will double from a third of the world population to two thirds between 1995 and 2025. The water basins irrigating the crops of the North China plain are being exhausted at an alarming rate.

HSBC admits that it economic projections are based on a “rather rosy scenario”. Yet one thing seems clear. As superpowers of world food output, the US and Canada are sitting pretty.


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New mobility manager for Linklaters

Law firm Linklaters has appointed Eleanor Smith rewards and mobility manager. She replaces David Jones, who moved to the JLT Group in September 2010.

Smith joins from medical research firm Covance, where she had been associate director of global reward since 2006, responsible for employees across 54 countries. She has also been head of reward at Sainsbury’s, Boots and British Home Stores (BHS).

Smith said: “One of the goals [in the new role] is to look for new ways of working around our benefits strategies and continue to support the firm in delivering high level of service from the rewards and global mobility team.

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Deloitte: A Lack In Global Skills is Threatening Corporate Expansion

A Deloitte/Forbes Insight Survey, “Talent Edge 2020,” reports that not being able to find talent in global and developing markets is the number one worry among 41 percent of the corporate executives and talent managers surveyed. This even though many organizations and business leaders would have expected a surplus of talent due to high unemployment rates.
Nearly three-quarters of executives surveyed or 72 percent foresaw a severe or a moderate shortage in R&D talent. Further, 56% of those same respondents stated they expect the same degree of shortages among executive leadership.
These issues are more immediate for companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa at 48 % than their counterparts in the Americas or Asia-Pacific countries with 35% percent and 41 percent respectively.
“What we are seeing is an unexpected talent paradox – even though unemployment rates remain relatively high in the US– companies are struggling to find the skilled workers they need to fill critical jobs worldwide,” said Jeff Schwartz, a principal in the human capital practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP and global co-leader and U.S. leader for talent services.
There is also concern among many executives about their companies’ leadership development abilities and employee retention capabilities.
However, most companies are thinking globally. When asked to look forward and predict where they will get their talent from nearly two out of three respondents predicted that their companies will look toward global diversity management and global mobility over the next twelve months.
As well, there is a need for change that’s apparent as around 80 percent of those surveyed admit their talent programs need improvement.
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Increased labour mobility needed for economic growth

Industries and countries worldwide will require major increases of highly-educated people in their workforces to sustain economic growth, argues a new report prepared by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The report, titled “Global Talent Risk: Seven Responses,” analyzes talent shortages projected to occur by 2020 and 2030 in 25 countries, 13 industries and 9 occupational clusters. The report concludes that:
1. Demand will be biggest for highly-educated professionals, technicians and managers. Professionals will be in particularly high demand in trade, transport and communications industries in developing nations.

2. In the next two decades, demand for professionals in manufacturing will peak at more than 10 percent in developing countries, exceeding 4 percent across all countries sampled (labor demand growth rates are compounded annually).

3. Healthcare research and development alone will generate an enormous demand for skilled labor worldwide.

4. Employees without critical knowledge and technical skills will be left behind. If left unaddressed, talent scarcity will become a threat to sustained growth particularly in knowledge-based economies. Human capital has replaced financial capital as the engine of economic prosperity, said Hans-Paul Burkner, chief executive officer and president of the Boston Consulting Group.

The roots of the global talent risk include the widely uneven quality of educational systems, erratic employability of the workers in the Southern Hemisphere and demographic changes in the Northern Hemisphere, where retirement of the baby boomers will result in an unprecedented talent deficit.

In the United States, Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom, expected immigration and birth rates will not offset the workforce losses caused by aging populations. Today, foreign-born workers with university degrees or equivalent qualifications make up just 2 percent of the European labor market, compared with 4.5 percent in the United States and nearly 10 percent in Canada. Improved education and training must go hand-in-hand with increased labor migration.

The global problem is no longer a mere talent mismatch. The scale of the predicted talent gap requires concerted action starting with and going well beyond removing barriers to the mobility of talent, said Piers Cumberlege, head of Partnership at the World Economic Forum.

The report proposes seven core responses to the global talent risk:

1. Introduce strategic workforce planning to address imbalances between labor supply and demand

2. Ease migration to attract the right talent globally

3. Foster brain circulation to mitigate brain drain

4. Increase employability by advancing technological literacy and cross-cultural learning skills

5. Develop a talent ladder by focusing on horizontal and vertical career and education paths

6. Encourage temporary and virtual mobility to access required skills easily

7. Extend the pool by tapping women, older professionals, the disadvantaged and immigrants

Members of the Global Agenda Council on Skills and Talent Mobility as well as over 100 high-level experts and practitioners contributed to the recommendations in the report and to the talent mobility dialogue hosted by the forum online and at meetings in Brussels, Doha, Davos-Klosters, Dubai, Montreal, New Delhi and New York in 2009-2010.

At its Annual Meeting 2011 in Davos-Klosters, the World Economic Forum will seek to catalyze a pragmatic, result-driven action focused on effective sharing of good practices.

For more information

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Unilever hires Vodafone to manage global mobility services

Vodafone has won a three year deal from food company Unilever to manage its mobility services covering 63 countries.

Vodafone Global Enterprise will supply nearly 50,000 Unilever employees with devices, connectivity and managed mobile services, which it said will improve the transparency of Unilever’s mobile communications spend, enhancing cost effectiveness and service delivery levels.

Under the agreement, Vodafone will also provide Unilever with consultancy on how to gain greater competitive advantage through deploying mobile solutions and strategic advice on new trends such as the effective management of consumer devices and applications in the workplace

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Go East, if you want that top job

Relocating to an overseas office in emerging markets like China or Russia is “essential” for workers who want to climb the career ladder, a survey of company executives has revealed.

Eight in 10 believe a posting to an up-and-coming economy abroad is very important for career advancement, the study by Regus consultancy found. A further two fifths of companies plan to send more staff overseas in the next five years, to emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe, the survey of 418 executives showed.

The news comes after Jaguar Land Rover this week revealed it had warned some of its most senior managers to consider relocating to China or risk missing out on a board promotion.

The car manufacturer’s HR director, Des Thurlby, said he had held “pointed” discussions with up to five of his most talented members of staff urging them to consider moving “out of leafy Warwickshire” to China to help the company expand operations.

The company, which has 70pc of its business overseas, had been struggling to attract enough of its best people to want to go on typically three-year assignments, he said.

But an international posting was crucial if senior managers were to understand the car maker’s customer base, he said. Chinese customers – many of whom are chauffeur-driven – can pay up to £250,000 for a Land Rover and expect spacious back seats with all the mod-cons including DVD players and reclining chairs. In contrast, British customers tend to pay about £30,000 and are more concerned with what the dashboard looks like, Mr Thurlby said.

According to Regus, few companies will openly say to their employees that a stint in an overseas office is a necessary step up the corporate hierarchy. However, staff will “inevitably study how their company makes promotions”, and reach their own conclusions, the consultancy’s expatriate report, Up or out, said.

As David Cameron vowed to double UK trade in China last week, ambitious Brits could face increasing pressure to work in the country, experts said.

Ian Cloke, vice-president of global mobility at Unilever, the consumer goods company, said employees only have to look at the top tier of their company to understand how difficult it can be to climb the ladder without international experience.

He said: “Out of our senior management cadre of a hundred people, only a few have never worked outside their home country.” He added: “As we have a clearly stated belief at Unilever that one of the main drivers of our growth will come from emerging markets, a successful stint in one of these countries will inevitably be positively viewed.”

Elsewhere APL, a global transportation company, currently has a significant number of UK staff posted abroad on two to three-year assignments. Neill Clark, HR chief, said: “The product that we are dealing with is the movement of goods via our container shipping and terminal services. As a result of our product, there is a need for our staff to gain significant international experience to make them successful in a variety of different environments through being more culturally aware.”

He added those sent overseas were selected because they were likely to be “future leaders” of the business, and it was crucial they understood cultural differences.

Helen Walton, director of global mobility at AstraZeneca, agreed. She said: “We have strategic imperatives that are not connected to current economic conditions in Western markets. If you have someone who can make a significant impact on our operations in China, India or Russia, then costs seem minimal compared to the benefits that person can bring.”

However, she added it was “not sustainable” to keep sending people out, adding the company was identifying and training individuals from emerging markets to make the business model workable in the long-term.

Five tips for becoming a successful expatriate

  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Experience of living and working abroad
  • Foreign language skills
  • Ability to network effectively
  • Keep UK bosses updated

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/8144341/Go-East-if-you-want-that-top-job.html

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UK government agrees on skilled migration cap

The government will announce later a cap on the number of skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area allowed into the UK.

A cap of up to 43,700 was recommended by migration advisors last week.

But the government’s cap will not include employees transferred by their companies from another country if their salary is more than £40,000.

Home Secretary Theresa May is due to give the full details of the cap in a statement to MPs.

During the election campaign, Tory leader David Cameron pledged to cap immigration levels, while his then Lib Dem rival Nick Clegg – now his deputy – said that policy ignored the fact that most immigration came from the EU.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson said tense talks between the Tories and Lib Dems had resulted in a compromise.

Last year 50,000 visas were issued for tier one (highly skilled) and tier two (skilled) workers from outside the European Economic Area (the EU plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein). Of those, 22,000 came on intra-company transfers.

Arrivals at Luton airport Theresa May’s announcement will follow weeks of tense discussions between Tories and Lib Dems

 ’Small reduction’

Nick Robinson said a consultation on cutting the number of non-degree level students coming to the UK – due to be published soon – had not yet got cross-coalition agreement.In the new year, ministers will produce proposals to reduce the number of family members who can join immigrants already living in the UK.

A Home Office spokesman denied reports the cap on skilled migrants from outside Europe would be 43,000, excluding intra-company transfers.He said it was possible the number allowed into the country would end up at 43,000, but the limit would have to be lower than that to take account of the intra-company transfers.Sir Andrew Green, of the Migration Watch think tank, told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme: “It’s a small reduction, but don’t forget the 50,000 is much lower than it has been in recent years… It’s a reduction from a low figure, we regard that as a sensible outcome with a modest total.”He said the cap focused on “those people who employers actually need” and would reduce the number of people who “come on spec, hanging around looking for a job” and the minimum £40,000 salary would make a “big difference”.But he told the BBC it was not clear, until Mrs May makes her statement in the Commons, exactly what was being proposed.However Sir Andrew said: “This is the first time in British history that any government has set a broad policy objective for net migration and we have to do that. We must reduce immigration – our population is heading for 70 million in 20 years, 68% of that, more than two thirds, is down to immigration.”  

David Frost, director general, of the British Chambers of Commerce, said it was important that changes to migration policy did not harm British business: “Clearly the government has a mandate to bring down net immigration but at a time when we are trying to squeeze every bit of growth out of the economy, changes to migration policy must not harm UK competitiveness.”He said global businesses “must have the ability to bring their skilled employees across the globe into the UK”. Last week the government’s migration advisory committee recommended that the number of migrant workers coming to the UK from outside the EU should be cut by between 13% and 25% next year.

 Committee chairman Professor David Metcalf said the number of visas for skilled workers issued under what are called tier one and tier two needed to be between 37,400 and 43,700 for 2011/12.

 This would represent a cut of up to 12,600 from 2009, he said, although this did not allow for the government’s planned exemption for intra-company transfers.

 However, the committee said that even this would contribute only 20% to the government’s target of reducing UK immigration from hundreds of thousands to “tens of thousands”. The other 80% cut would have to come from student and family migration.

 Home affairs select committee chairman, the Labour MP Keith Vaz, said he did not believe the cap on skilled migrants would work.

 ”There are going to be so many exemptions, from the education sector to elite scientists to football players to business, that there are going to be so many holes… that it actually won’t be a cap at all,” he said.


Graph showing migration flows in and out of the UK over 20 years

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China to Become Life Science Powerhouse

Monitor Group, a global management consulting firm, released a new report, China, the Life Sciences Leader of 2020, finding that China is poised to become the global leader in life science discovery and innovation within the next decade.

At a time when the global life sciences and pharmaceutical industries are beset by major challenges, including patent cliffs, skyrocketing costs of drug approvals and failures in key trials for potentially landmark new drugs, China has developed a strategy of targeted government investments. Through a variety of national and regional programs, China is spending billions on a new health care “safety net,” encouraging the growth of life science parks and startups, financing the development of a high-quality research infrastructure and luring back tens of thousands of Western-educated Chinese researchers.

“In just a decade’s time — a short-term horizon in the life sciences field — China will not only be a significant engine of innovation, but has the potential to create a new model for advanced drug discovery,” said George Baeder, who runs Monitor’s China life science practice from his office in Shanghai and co-authored the report. “Other industries have repeatedly failed to anticipate how quickly China can adapt and impact the global playing field.” Baeder cautions that the pharmaceutical industry must now also pay attention.

Source: Monitor

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