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Who needs expats? | The Economist

MeF Chief Executive Officer Are monarchs of the business world, and the executives of the highly paid staff they place to oversee operations globally from headquarters are their ambassadors. In the golden age of globalization, sending Western executives expatriates to distant emerging markets showed that the place was taken seriously. The model began to feel obsolete before the covid-19 made traveling abroad miserable. With zoom and remote work standard, is it no longer worth shuffling messengers around the world?

Often, about 280 million people live in countries other than their own for work. Much effort is being put into construction sites in the Gulf and Mind Bratt in Manhattan. High-flying aliens are the most cohesive of these immigrants. Their uplifting status is secured by housing allowances, chick tuition, annual return flights, and rising healthy salaries, if it needs to be identified. Some business people have built their careers by flying from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi to Lagos and have become longtime business wanderers.

The business case of expatriates has begun to expand in recent years. Moving staff to the ends of the globe makes sense when it’s difficult to find global-minded (and English-speaking) employees there. But globalization has worked that magic.If the American investment bank in Shanghai wants a top-notch bright number launcher MBA, There are many local candidates. They cost a fraction of the cost of running a transplant — and already speak the language.

It is also difficult to get the support of Jakarta from the head office staff. In the last few decades, obedient “following spouses” have taken on the responsibility of keeping their households running far away. Now she is more likely to argue about its impact on her career (as is more often). A study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group found that in 2018, 57% of the world’s workers were willing to move abroad for work, compared to 64% four years ago.

When the pandemic occurred, this number dropped further to 50%. Many foreign infestations, such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai, have experienced looser blockages than the United States and Europe. However, that often meant curbing international travel and imposing weeks of quarantine on returnees. The prospect of a family visit on Christmas or a weekend vacation to Bali is part of what makes life in Singapore fascinating. As it progresses, the trade-offs between career and personal life begin to look unpleasantly different.

Many foreigners who were once treated by the royal family felt that they were treated like second-class citizens. Some hesitated to leave their assigned country for fear of not being able to return. Some had to wait longer than the locals for the vaccine. The Clubby community no longer creates space for outsiders. As Hong Kong, once a spiritual home of expatriates, fell into China’s ambitions, Western imports began to look like traces of the colonial past.

This speaks to a wider range of economic changes that undermine the need for expatriates. Once upon a time, they were often able to facilitate access to foreign capital and know-how from Western sources. Today, money is plentiful and the most exciting business opportunities are emerging markets that do business with other emerging markets, especially in Asia. You don’t need a Westerner to show you how to do it. The world they understand is no longer relevant.

The expatriate is more than just an expensive perk bagger (as his foreign correspondent, Bartleby, can prove in his daily work). Companies have a culture and processes that can be created at headquarters and disseminated by envoys. They in turn absorb new ways of doing things that can be returned to other parts of the business. Having an outsider somewhere in the org chart of a distant subsidiary gives you the peace of mind that you aren’t doing any weird business there. However, the penny pinch boss may consider whether a normal Zoom call wouldn’t do much the same thing at a fraction of the cost. Especially when employees around the world work from home anyway.

The surest way to show your commitment to the market these days is not to import talented people, but to train them locally. Many companies that proudly place expatriates are now proud to appoint local bosses to lead each country. It is not a reversal of globalization, but an affirmation of it.

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This article was published in the printed Business section under the heading “End of Travel Circus”.

Who needs expats? | The Economist Source link Who needs expats? | The Economist

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