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PROFESSIONAL SERVICES/LEGAL | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Singapore now third most ‘moved to’ country in the world

The country ranks up four places, coming in just behind the US and the UK.

New data from Cartus Corporation reveals that the top destinations for companies transferring employees around the world have remained relatively consistent for the past 5 years. The figures, representative of all international moves completed by Cartus clients during the last five years, show that some key markets experienced relocation volume declines, while assignments in other regions had significant gains.

For example, while China is often thought to be the fastest growing of global assignment destinations, relocation volume to Singapore more than doubled, outpacing China’s volume and placing Singapore third after the United States and the United Kingdom, up from a seventh place ranking in 2006.

Meanwhile, a number of new destination locations have begun to materialise as companies begin to take advantage of opportunities in non-traditional markets.

In terms of regional representation, Europe had the most locations ranked among the top relocation destinations with 11 countries, followed by Asia-Pacific (8), North America (2), Central America (2), the Middle East (1), and South America (1).

"We work with many multinational companies whose volume of moves is a good indication of overall global business activity," said Kenneth Kwek, head of Cartus Asia Pacific operations.

"We have noticed that even though their relocation volume may change year over year, most of the same locations have remained on our list as the major destinations for the employees that our clients send on international assignment—despite the changing economic landscape.


Interestingly, however, this pattern is not mirrored in the less traditional markets, where activity is much more volatile and reflects the wide variety of business opportunities available in the global marketplace."

Five-Year Trend Shows Top 10 Global Relocation Destinations Holding Steady

The U.K. and the U.S. have remained the largest markets for inter-country assignments over the past five years. The U.S. has held onto the top spot since 2006, while the U.K. experienced a small gain in volume, which helped it claim the No. 2 spot.

The remaining locations at the top of the list include China and Switzerland— a key financial hub—at fourth and fifth, respectively. India took the sixth spot, jumping up from ninth place in 2006. Germany fell to seventh from its previous fifth-place ranking in 2006, while Hong Kong moved from 11th to eighth place over five years, due to a 77% international volume increase.

Japan and Canada, which each experienced subtle volume shifts, round out the top 10.

New Destinations Appear
When looking beyond the top 10 ranked destinations to a broader view of the top 25, global relocation volume has shown significant shifts during the last five years, with several locations posting dramatic gains. Among the destinations whose relocation volume more than doubled are United Arab Emirates, which advanced six spots in the Cartus ranking and Brazil, which advanced 10 spots, to claim the 13th and 14th positions, respectively. New locations appearing on the Cartus list include Panama (No. 18), South Korea (No. 23) and Poland (No. 25).

Meanwhile, the three destinations that appeared on the 2006 Top 25 list but dropped off in 2010 due to volume declines were Saudi Arabia, Austria and Thailand.

"It’s clear that as market opportunities present themselves in many of these non-traditional relocation markets, companies are beginning to transfer employees there in greater numbers," said Kwek. "Companies will need to be well informed and positioned to take advantage of a broader array of countries, regions and cultures than ever before."

Cartus’ Ranking of Top 25 Relocation Destinations

^ - New to list in 2010

2010 (previous mark)
1. United States (1)
2. United Kingdom (2)
3. Singapore (7)
4. China (3)
5. Switzerland (4)
6. India (9)
7. Germany (5)
8. Hong Kong (11)
9. Japan (6)
10. Canada (8)
11. France (10)
12. Australia (13)
13. United Arab Emirates (19)
14. Brazil (24)
15. Belgium (16)
16. Italy (15)
17. Netherlands (12)
18. Panama ^
19. Malaysia (18)
20. Ireland (14)
21. Mexico (20)
22. Spain (17)
23. South Korea ^
24. Sweden (21)
25. Poland ^ 

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