China is top expat destination

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China is the top expat destination followed by the U.S., UK, Singapore and Switzerland, reveals survey.

China is ranked as the top destination for international assignees in the annual Global Relocation Trends report from from Brookfield Global Relocation Services. In second place was the United States followed by the UK, Singapore and Switzerland.

China was also ranked as the top emerging destination followed by India and Russia.

China presents greatest challenges

Paradoxically, China was seen as presenting the greatest challenges to both international assignment managers and assignees due to the difficulty in finding suitable homes and schools, accessing medical care, immigration formalities, tax compliance, communication and knowledge of international regulations, the remoteness of the destinations and increasing costs. India ranked second and Russia third in terms of presenting the greatest relocation challenges.

The survey of 180 multinational firms reveals a significant move by companies to control costs with the number one relocation challenge being the overall cost of assignments, followed by finding suitable candidates and controlling policy exceptions.

Younger employees kept at home

The report also showed a marked trend for companies to send older and more experienced employees on international assignment because they present a lower risk of assignment failure. Only nine percent of companies were in the 20-29 year age bracket, giving the lowest percentage of younger expats on the job in the survey’s 14-year history.


Related features:

Doing business in China:

Part I 

Part II 

Recruiting, developing and retaining staff in China

Lessons from the front lines of doing business in China 

Schooling in China

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