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Expatriate Insurance News: Far East 'a leading destination' for British expats

British expatriates are focusing their attention on the Far East thanks to the booming economies in countries such as China and Singapore.

This is one conclusion of the new Quality of Life Index from NatWest International Personal Banking, which revealed economic prospects, higher salaries and more favourable tax conditions are all prompting Britons to take out expat insurance and head to Far East nations.

The number of expats working in China and Singapore has risen 18 per cent over the past five years, while numbers moving to western European countries fell 27 per cent in the same time period.

Singapore was listed as a leading destination for expats in the latest HSBC Expat Explorer survey, which was topped by Australia and saw 3,385 individuals from over 100 countries polled.

Head of NatWest International Personal Banking Dave Isley said the shift is indicative of the "changing global environment we live in".

"As businesses expand their operations into foreign markets, they have to be able to identify executives who can move seamlessly between markets and cultures," he remarked, adding the fact that the number of people working aboard on temporary assignments has risen from 32 per cent to 43 per cent over the past half decade shows expats "are making working abroad fit with [their] lifestyles".

NatWest's report also highlighted the various types of expats that now head abroad, stating the majority (78 per cent) of "lifers" – those that live and work permanently in another country – head to another English-speaking nation.

In contrast, "professionals" – those who temporarily move abroad for work purposes – choose a wider variety of destinations and embrace different cultures.

"Expats are not a holistic group, but multi-complex in terms of their reasons for migrating, choice of destination country and attitudes and behaviours while living abroad," Mr Isley concluded.

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