DANBURY, Conn., March 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Every year, companies expand or more firmly establish their presence in countries around the world where labor and market conditions will favor business growth. What countries are companies sending their employees to this year and how do they compare with the top destinations of four years ago? According to Cartus Corporation, the leading provider of global relocation services, the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland rank as the top three on a list of ten – a ranking that was established by culling data from its worldwide client base, which includes more than 50 percent of Fortune 50 companies and approximately 163,000 corporate and affinity relocations in nearly 150 countries in 2016.
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While many of the top ten destination countries for global assignments remained fairly constant, there were some notable changes in the ranking:
- Switzerland moved into third place, while China fell to eighth
- Ireland and Canada moved into the top ten, while France and Hong Kong dropped off
In terms of volume trends, overall, corporate respondents to Cartus’ 2016 Global Mobility Policy and Practices survey say that relocation is alive and well, with 47 percent expecting international assignments to increase and 45 percent expecting it to stay the same over the next two years. Various countries have their own individual benefits when it comes to doing business. Here’s what this year’s top ten corporate relocation destinations have to offer companies looking to expand:
1. United States
American business culture is known for prizing punctuality and efficiency. This, combined with a powerhouse economy and workforce of people from a vast variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, makes the U.S. a prominent player in the global market. The U.S. provides companies with no value-added tax (VAT) and a favorable exchange rate. A highly skilled, hard-working and educated workforce round out strong reasons to do business there.
2. United Kingdom
The U.K. has a long and rich history, and boasts a variety of advantages to companies doing business there: a healthy economy, liberal policies that protect the country’s growth, and a large, culturally diverse population. It is currently known as one of the world’s leading financial and service centers, and has recently attracted many projects in those sectors. However, the recent decision to leave the EU is likely to cause some continued uncertainty, with other countries possibly securing investment opportunities that might have gone to the U.K.
Switzerland’s dominant industries include machinery, chemicals, precision instruments, banking and insurance and, having one of the world’s most stable economies and political systems, the country has become an understandable choice for companies wanting to do business there. The country has achieved one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, along with low unemployment rates and prominent labor specialization.
As the APAC regional HQ for many western firms, Singapore enjoys a consistent volume of employee relocations from one year to the next. Singapore is well established as a hub for services such as software and IT, business and financial services. Pharmaceutical and consumer products also have large populations of expats there, and a variety of benefits may explain this: prudent economic management, a thriving economy, low taxes and an efficient infrastructure are all very appealing to companies and their employees who live there. It has a reputation for governing with integrity and is considered to be one of the easiest places to do business.
The Netherlands continue to have strong relocation volumes, as the country is often the European headquarters for many firms. An increase is also possible in coming years, due to Brexit. Because it is a country that has historically been committed to neutrality, tolerance and global cooperation, the Netherlands has become an ideal place for international organizations.
As the industrial powerhouse of Europe with the second largest financial concentration after London, Germany is a prominent player in the global marketplace. Because it shares borders with other major economies in central Europe, companies based there have access to both eastern and western European markets with millions of customers. Its efficient infrastructure – roadways, railways and telecommunications network – contributes to goods and services being delivered competently and quickly. There is also an outward appreciation of innovation and technology in the country – from computer software and electronic components to healthcare devices and automotive technology.
India, which is becoming more business-oriented than ever, has a great deal to offer businesses looking to establish a presence there. It’s massive size, along with a newly hospitable regulatory environment and more investment-friendly political policies, provide companies with access to a highly skilled, cost-efficient workforce and opportunities for growth.
The People’s Republic of China continues to welcome foreign businesses – in the high-tech, agricultural, forestry, telecommunication, automotive and energy industries, among others. A major player in the global economy with a dynamic business environment, China is an increasingly critical location for companies. Advantages to doing business there include access to a continually growing market, a skilled labor force, a daunting but favorable business atmosphere, a rapidly growing economy and increasing consumer wealth.
A strong economy and a labor force with a high percentage of college-educated individuals are two of many reasons companies choose to establish or grow their businesses in Canada. A multi-cultural society that blends British and French traditions, among others, Canada offers companies low business taxes, a competitive research and development environment and a sound banking system and economy. Low cost of living, favorable exchange rates and an environment that welcomes foreign investment are additional reasons companies decide to set up shop in Canada.
Favorable corporate tax rates and a skilled, young, highly educated workforce attract a variety of industries to the shores of Ireland. A thriving research, development and investment sector, along with strong government support for productive collaboration between industry and academia add to the benefits. Other factors include excellent IT skills and infrastructure, and an advanced telecommunications infrastructure with state-of-the-art optical networks and international connectivity.
Expanding internationally provides a company with diversification and financial growth, but also exposure to new cultures and all of the benefits that go with that. The opportunities to gain a competitive advantage are many, and so are the individual benefits associated with each of the top destinations where Cartus has seen its employers turn their focus this year.
Matt Spinolo, Executive Vice President, Global Services:
"Cartus 2016 transfer volumes show one definite trend and another that is likely. China has fallen five rungs to number eight over the last three years as western companies slow their investments in China. The Chinese economy, while still growing rapidly, has slowed and some employers are shifting to rely more on local talent and less on expats."
"The rise of Ireland into the top 10 global relocation destinations is intriguing. It’s a member of the European Union and Eurozone and enjoys an English speaking business culture. For business operations in the U.K. that need to find a home in the Eurozone and European Union post Brexit, Ireland is a likely choice.
"It’s interesting that Canada has now joined the list of top ten global relocation destinations. As the year-in-year-out largest trading partner with the United States, and with many companies’ supply chains crossing the border, Canada will continue to be an important destination for U.S. expats."
For more than 60 years, Cartus has provided trusted guidance to organizations of all types and sizes that require global relocation solutions. Providing the full spectrum of relocation services, including language and intercultural training, Cartus serves more than half of the Fortune 50 and has moved employees into and out of 185 countries. Cartus is part of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. To find out how our greater experience, reach, and hands-on guidance can help your company, visit www.cartus.com; read our blog; or click www.realogy.com for more information.
Alison Sedney at 203.205.3739
LisaMarie DeSanto at 203.205.8544
SOURCE Cartus Corporation