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British expats drawn to major business centres

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Many people from the UK are relocating to major business centres in non-European countries, a new study has found.

According to NatWest International Personal Banking (IPB), thousands of British expats have set up home in places such as Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore and Dubai.

The group said this shows that people are shunning traditional Commonwealth destinations and looking towards "buoyant economies" in the east instead.

Many of these people are working in technology and management consultancy jobs, while they are also prominent in the manufacturing and financial services industries.

"The reputation of British business men and women is globally renowned," NatWest IPB observed.

"They are known for not only their expertise but also their ethical and transparent approach to conducting business."

NatWest IPB noted that by promoting their values and best practices in other countries, Britons who live abroad have inadvertently become unofficial ambassadors for the UK.

This, it said, means they are making a significant social and financial contribution to communities and economies across the globe.

Dave Isley, head of NatWest IPB, attributed this partly to the fact that English has become the leading language in today's globalised market.

"It has provided a common platform for international drive, driven global collaboration and thinking and opened the doors to opportunities around the world," he commented.

Statistics from NatWest IPB indicate that 4.6 million people from the UK are living and working overseas. Some 1.4 million expats reside in Australia, while 630,000 and 38,000 have moved to Canada and China respectively.

New Zealand was also said to be popular with those who have relocated outside Europe, along with South Africa, the US and the United Arab Emirates.

While many are promoting British values and attitudes abroad, this does not mean they are not trying to assimilate into their new home. A recent study by NatWest IPB found that 69 per cent of expats have been able to embrace the society and customs of the country in which they now live.

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