Which are the top destinations for international expansion?

The US is expected to lose its ‘top spot’ status for international expansion over the next five years to China. New research by AXA shows that the UK is to fall to joint seventh place with South Korea.

The US remains in top position for international expansion, for the time being.
China is set to become the key destination for international expansion in the next five years, according to new research from AXA.The research, conducted among 250 firms in eight countries and 372 globally-mobile workers reveals that while Western economies dominate the list of countries that employers say they most commonly send staff to work in today, the balance of power between nations is changing. 

The US currently in holds to ‘top spot’

Today, the US and China, followed by Germany, the UK and France are the most popular destinations for firms to send staff to work on long-term contracts.However, looking ahead to the next five years, China is set to become the key destination for new international expansion with the US at number two, and France, Russia and Japan in joint third place and Germany in fourth place. The UK is in joint seventh place for new international expansion with South Korea.More than a third (38 per cent) of HR and global mobility managers questioned said they are looking to recruit more local teams in-country as well.
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Tom Wilkinson, CEO of AXA’s global healthcare team stated, “Internationally-mobile workers are critical for organisations looking to trade globally and in today’s economy that means many businesses.“However, the countries that organisations prioritise as a focus for investment and for sending people to work in naturally shifts, to take account of changing global economic and political opportunities and China is a big focus for the businesses we surveyed.“One thing remains constant and that is the importance of human talent in helping firms establish and build operations globally. Looking after their staff and ensuring that they get appropriate support and benefits packages to allow them to work internationally is key – yet our study reveals that some employers need to work harder on this is if they are to deliver for their staff.”Infographic showing the top countries for international expansion in 2017

UK and Switzerland among poorest for helping employers on international assignment

The survey revealed that one-in-ten (10 per cent) of staff on international assignment say they receive no help at all from their employer, rising to almost a quarter (24 per cent) of those employed by UK firms and 32 per cent of those employed by organisations based in Switzerland.Almost half of staff on international assignments (49 per cent) said they get help with visa and immigration requirements, more than a third (39 percent) receive help in finding a new home and 35 per cent get contractual/HR support from their company.Just 27 per cent of staff on international assignment said they received language or cultural training before being sent to work internationally and only around a fifth (22 per cent) said their employer provided a global mobility representative to help them.Copies of the report are available from the AXA website.For related news and features, visit our International Assignments section.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  Get access to our free Global Mobility Toolkit Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centre

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