British expats, especially those looking to continue working after relocation, are looking east towards China and Singapore, according to the most recent NatWest IPB Quality of Life study.
Conducted in conjunction with The Centre of Future Studies, the study found that there has been an 18% increase in the number of expats working in China and Singapore while those working in the US have decreased by 11%.
Expats have been attracted by the economic prospects, higher salaries and a less burdensome tax regime. In turn, the demand for British professional skills in the tiger economies is growing, especially in China, and with modern communications spreading rapidly and travel sanctions being lifted, it is now possible for Brits to settle and work in most parts of the country. China's spectacular growth over the past three decades has prompted Western multinationals to send many of their most ambitious executives to the country.
The survey also looked at the typical profiles of expats and divided them into the categories of lifers, professionals, globetrotters, commuters and silver expats. Lifers work and live abroad permanently, professionals are temporarily out of the UK, globetrotters move around the world working on various projects, commuters spend a few months a year in a foreign country, and silver expats have sold up completely.
Dave Isley, Head of NatWest International Personal Banking, comments: “Expats are not a holistic group, but multi-complex in terms of their reasons for migrating, choice of destination country and attitudes and behaviours while living abroad. The image of a traditional 'sunshine retirement' expat has evolved to one that moves abroad primarily for career progression and challenges – with lifestyle as a secondary factor.”