Expat Updates From Around the World
The expatriate industry is continually evolving, with over 90% of companies expecting to increase their employee relocation volumes in the coming years. Mobile employees can be found across the globe as companies seek to broaden their demographics, improve the efficiency and reach of their businesses, and remain competitive in the international arena. At the same time, trends and best practices in workforce mobility strategies are taking center stage as HR professionals responsible for employee moves are tasked with enticing, supporting, and facilitating expats and their families.
So what’s new in the world of expatriates? Here is a look at some of the latest expat updates from around the world:
United Kingdom: Brits are on the move, with more workers from the UK seeking opportunities to earn a living overseas. British expats can be found residing in the
USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. They can also be found working in the technology industry in Germany, in the manufacturing industry in South Africa, as well as in Switzerland, Spain, France, the UAE, Channel Islands, Gibraltar, and Isle of Man. According to reports, British expats earn more money abroad than they do working in the UK, where the average earnings growth is only 1.5% and where inflation rates and unemployment levels have not budged in months.
Kuwait: Kuwait is home to over 2.6 million expats who make up 68% of the country’s population (numbered at 3.8 million). And yet, expats have recently been targeted for offenses such as being caught driving without a license, jumping red lights, and breaking the speed limit. Their traffic violation punishments – meted out to hundreds of expats in the past month alone – include being deported without a court order. Although human rights groups are crying foul and citing the responses as oppressive, senior interior ministry officials expect the crackdown to continue, with the emirate planning to deport 100,000 expats a year for the next 10 years to reduce the number of foreigners living in the Gulf state. At a time when the Gulf’s human rights record is already under scrutiny, some say the punitive measures could do Kuwait’s image more harm than good.
Oman: Government efforts to implement major economic and social projects have led to the growth and expansion of expatriate labor
across many Omani sectors. As a result, the number of expats in Oman have significantly increased since 2010, with foreign expatriate numbers estimated to have jumped 17% in 2011 and 18% in 2012 compared to 2010. Simultaneously, expat remittances have increased a whopping 8.2%, exceeding RO 3 billion ($7.8 billion) or 10% of the total GDP. Reasons for the increase in expat remittance rates include the fact that expats make up more than 75% of the manpower in specific sectors (i.e. agriculture and construction), holiday occasions which increase employee transfers to their families, and the reduction in Asian foreign exchange rates to leverage exchange rate differences (Pakistanis and Indians make up 65% of the expat labor force in Oman).
Netherlands: Aspiring to be a European business hub for the rest of the world, Amsterdam is aggressively pursuing foreign expats as entrepreneurs, enticing them with the city’s easy accessibility from global destinations, tax facilities,
great educational system for kids, green city sustainability, and more. In fact, Amsterdam now is now home to numerous Indian business establishments and continues to woo Indian IT companies to set up shop there. In addition, Amdsterdam has reached out to the Chinese for their investment skills and the Brazilians for their experience in commodities. For expat entrepreneurs, some of the main business attractions in Amsterdam include the banking and financial sectors, as well as legal services and accounting. To make itself more business and expat friendly, Amsterdam has put forth policies to promote its image as a cosmopolitan city which invites diversity and where all can live and work. Over 180 nationalities currently reside in the Dutch capital, making expats feel right at home.
Dubai: According to speakers at a recent expatriate community conference in Dubai, expats are here to stay as they
enjoy tax-free and well-paid careers under safe living conditions. In fact, the UAE is home to over 200 nationalities where expats are considered a pillar of the economy. The third annual “UAE through its Expats’ Eye” conference was held in cooperation with Zayed University at the Dubai Cultural and Scientific Association.