Saturday, 30 May 2009

Expats: Keeping up business contacts in the downturn by using LinkedIn

Expats are feeling the pinch of the downturn as much as anyone. Stories of expatriate migration are common nowadays and therefore maintaining business contacts and networks is essential. It isn't always going to be like this - it will get better - and therefore maintaining business relationships is essential.

Expats are naturals at nurturing their personal and professional networks - they have to - and the web is making it even easier than before to do. Our 2008 survey, expat experience highlighted this very point. Digital tools such as skype and facebook were essential for keeping in touch.

I'm a big fan of LinkedIn & I came across this article on their blog on how to get the most out of the service. Its simple and obvious but really quite good and will help anyone - not just expatriates living and working abroad.

If you don't fancy reading the blog but prefer to sit back and watching a presentation, I found the attached presentation below on Slideshare. The title is a little aggressive but get past that as it has some great practical tips to get you started - or if you are a user already - grow your network.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Global house price index report not good for expat locations

Came across this report from Knight Frank Rutley, the global residential estate agent. The report, Global House Price Index, revealed that global housing markets continue to struggle in the current economic conditions and the outlook for the rest of 2009 is equally gloomy.

Nick Barnes, head of international residential research, Knight Frank, said: "The world’s housing markets remain under intense pressure with little real evidence of any of the hoped for “green shoots”...".

Year on year falls were highest in Dubai and Singapore, but on a quarter on quarter basis, house price falls accelerated to -40% and -16.2% respectively.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Tweet, tweet, tweet

We've just broken 100 followers on Twitter.

It's surprised us all back in Jersey & got us scratching our heads - don't get me wrong, we are really pleased.

First thing that it reinforced is how connected expats are. We already know this but traditional forms of getting together - clubs, sports teams, interest groups etc have been supplemented by social media or web2.0. Sorry for the jargon - what I mean is online communities - because that is what they are.

Secondly, the technical literacy of expats is really high. Keeping connected, especially with friends and family across the world & in different time zones means that telephone conversations are prohibitive - for cost and practical reasons ! Thank you for coming to our aid Skype

So expats have to be innovative and test and trial online tools (stopped myself from saying web2.0 apps). But other stuff - such as sharing photos, experiences etc have seen groups emerge and expand on flickr, facebook & Twitter - there are numerous blogs out there too - just key expats or a variation into the search engine at Blogcatalog

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Canada - a great place to live says three independent surveys

My google blog reader came across this article from The Star, Toronto, Canada.

Its pretty good for a couple of reasons;

1. It references our survey - which is great.

2. It highlights two other surveys, similar to ours but a slight variation of a theme.

The first survey is from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and identifies the World's 10 happiest nations - though the article on provides more insight and detail if that is your want.

The other survey is from Mercer, the executive relocation service, which measures the best places in the world to live based on quality of life rather than happiness.

The interesting thing about all three surveys is that there appears to be consistency in findings. All identified North America, Europe and Australasia as the places to be. The only exception to that rule is the HSBC survey that identified India and Hong Kong as friendly places to reside.

Digging deeper into the OECD and Mercer surveys it would appear that the central European states & Nordic nations will be chasing Canada hard for the best place in the world to live and work.

Our results from the 2009 survey are due later this month - it will be interesting to see if there are any variations in the findings from 2008.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Slideshare content for expats

I attended a digital day with colleagues from around HSBC Group today and we started playing with some fun social media stuff.

Slideshare was one of many online applications that we checked out and I found the presentation below really interesting - especially useful for people who are about to become an expat or a recent expat and feeling challenged by the whole experience.
Being An Expat
View more presentations from astanford.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Living and working abroad enhances your creativity

I saw this article and it really resonated with me. I'm not saying that I am the most creative of individuals - I'll leave that for others to judge - but my experiences whilst I worked overseas were a significant investment in me as well as my career.

I had the opportunity to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds - all bringing unique perspectives to solving commercial and personal challenges. As a consequence I feel that I am a more rounded person - richer for the experience - able to consider the views and opinions of others. Applying those experiences to challenges today mean I feel I am able to contribute & give so much more of myself to friends, colleagues and the organisation that I work for.

If you want to learn more & view the report its here

Top expat locations for 2009 - have your say

I was reviewing the Expat Existence report of the 2008 Expat Explorer survey and I was pondering the results and wondering if they will change.

Last year the top 3 expat locations were Singapore, Dubai and the USA - the least popular locations were the UK and France.

The drivers of popularity were; ability to earn and save, how their new country of residence compared to the country that they left and their current lifestyle. If you want to learn more you can download the full report here.

So much has changed in the last 12 months since the 2008 survey was conducted. The world is a very different place - economic conditions have significantly changed and the global economy has slowed.

Demand for international workers is not as strong and as a consequence expatriates are making decisions about their futures. Just look at the latest USA unemployment figures released last week - the highest figures since the 1980s - expats will be impacted in some shape or form.

Another good example is this one I found about Australian expats in the Middle East too.

Its going to be really interesting to see where the 2009 top locations will be. What do you think? I'd love to hear your point of view?

Saturday, 9 May 2009

First insight from the 2009 survey is due in June

Received the first cut of the expat explorer survey data this week. Really quite excited by the prospect of what it is telling us.

For the first time we will have trend data - albeit for the period 2008-2009 - so only 2 years. However, what a period to measure. The significance of events such as the global recession and the credit crisis will be measured.

It will be interesting to see the impact of those two global events on expatriate communities around the world. Only this week, the exodus of expats from Dubai is having an impact on property rentals in the city - check out the story here

Monday, 4 May 2009

UK sliding down the tax-friendly rankings according to the FT

Interesting article in the Financial Times this weekend regarding the recent tax changes in the UK - especially as it benchmarks the changes and implications for individuals with other locations in the world.

The implications for expatriates could be interesting. Will the UK and London be as attractive for people who want to live and work abroad as say Singapore or Hong Kong ?

I'm not saying that tax arrangements are a key driver for expatriates - there is so much more to consider when living and working abroad - but the financial rewards of working in another country help enable the richer, cultural experiences that so many expats enjoy when living in another country.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

2009 survey now closed

On the 30th April we closed the 2009 survey. Bee and the team celebrated with chocolate cake. We're really pleased with the volume of responses this year - over 3000 - in 2008 we had just over 2000.

Can't wait for the results - we'll hopefully get some new insights from the new participants as well as trend data from the 2008 survey.

Data analysis is due to be completed towards the end of May & we hope to issue our first report - Expat Economics in June.



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