Monday, 17 May 2010

The politics of expat life

It's clear that over the past few weeks there have been some dramatic political events throughout the world that will undoubtedly have an impact on expat life in the affected country.

The UK is obviously one of these, where residents have seen a new Coalition Government formed - the first since the Second World War. No doubt there will be a number of expats in the UK keeping a close eye on how things pan out with the new leadership in order to see what it will mean for them. Ernst & Young, for example, has revealed that for some entrepreneurs (probably a few in the expat community), uncertainty over reforms on capital gains tax will prompt them to rush through the sale of their businesses.

Turning our attention East now and we look set for another week of political unrest in Thailand, which will again have some sort of impact on the expat population living there. Interestingly, however, the site Phuket Wan talks about the impact of the events in Bankgok, what it means for the rest of the country and how what is needed most now is a concerted effort to help continue to attract foreign visitors and help the country get back on its feet. It says that this turnaround "may have its beginnings among the expat community this Friday through the coincidental timing of an extraordinary meeting of four key groups at The Watermark at The Boat Lagoon. The British Business Association of Phuket, the International Business Association of Phuket, the Australian-Thai business group AustCham and the Lighthouse Club Phuket Branch are to join forces for the first time to hold a combined networking event." It goes on to say that if people from Thailand's tourism industry and key resort brands were also persuaded to attend, the meeting could well become the starting point to revitalise recovery for Phuket and Thailand.

It's great to see that there are still beacons of light throughout the world and that the expat community in countries such as Thailand are pulling together to ensure that their adopted home can come out of situations like the one it currently faces. It's often the case to find occurrences like this as the expat life can be such a personal experience and can generate such a strong sense of belonging. With our Expat Explorer 2010 currently still recruiting for respondents, we'd be keen to know if you feel the same way about your country and how you have found the experience of integrating in. Click here to take part.

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