Expats flood to emerging markets to find work

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The modern industrial revolution led by emerging economies is drawing workers overseas for jobs and money, according to a new report.

Just as workers left the countryside to work in cities during the first industrial revolution, workers are leaving their homelands for overseas – with China the most popular destination with more than a fifth of all expat assignments, said the Global Mobility Survey 2012.

The survey looks at assignments for expats and international workers by businesses and other organisations.

More than 47% reported an increasing number of assignments in the past year, while 45% expect the trend to continue during the next 12 months.

The report explains ‘explosive expansion’ into emerging markets is fuelling the increasing number of assignments, mainly driven by a lack of local talent.

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The report disclosed that placements of a year to three years are the most common, accounting for 62% of the total, while those of less than 12 months are falling in popularity and make up 24% of assignments.

Expats regard China, India, Russia and Brazil as the most challenging locations because of major cultural differences with their home nations.

Meanwhile, the report’s findings are supported by another global trends survey that shows 64% of global companies are sent staff overseas last year – a return to pre-recession levels.

The global relocation trends survey by US firm Brookfield Global Relocation Services says firms in healthcare, pharmaceuticals and energy are leading the jobs rush – while financial services has sunk to a new low.

“This year’s results indicate a return to activity levels not seen since 2007 suggesting that, regardless of regional economic woes, multinational corporations are mobilising workers to fill skills gaps and develop talent, especially in emerging and developing markets,” said the report.

Malaysia, Spain, Indonesia, Argentina, Kazakhstan and Colombia were highlighted as key growth areas for expat relocation.

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