Publication: Expat Philippines
Fewer Expats Working
Agnes M. Abrau
recent years, the number of expatriates working in multinational companies
declined with more and more firms wanting to migrate senior positions to
Asian nationals. The trend is certainly global and the Philippines is part
of this transition as well. Chalre
Associates (an executive search and management consulting firm) Chairman
Richard Mills said in his presentation at the American Chamber of Commerce
that “the number of expatriates employed throughout the Asia Pacific
region has steadily declined and it continuing to do so.” In a telephone
interview with Chalre Associates Chairman Richard Mills.
On & Expat, Mills said “localization” in hiring has become a global
trend and in the case of the Philippines, so-called “local expatriates”
are proportionally greater in number and are preferably hired than
international expatriate managers. For those who aren’t familiar with the
term, a “local expatriate” is a non-Filipino who decides to live in
Philippines because he enjoys the country and its people.
said “localizing expatriates is the next best thing to Filipinos”. He
also said that a
significant percentage of expatriates posted to the Philippines has interest
to remain in the country when their terms are finished. Mills also serves as
the First Vice President of Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
By this, Mills said there is momentous growth for the Philippines
particularly in sectors like Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and mining.
The BPO industry in the Philippines, for instance, needs 50 percent more
managers each year over the next few years.
may mean good news for returning Filipino managers who have been living
overseas and wanting to reconsider relocating to their home country.
But is this bad news for expats? Mills said not at all. He explained that
expats who hold top positions know that they are here to develop local
However, high growth sectors like BPO, mining and others require expats.
Mills said expatriates are required in sectors when local talent is not yet
developed or available.
“Filipinos think all expats earn more than them. That is not the case
anymore. Today’s expats get fewer extras and they are often fired on short
notice,” Mills said.
present, Asians are taking over the helm in many industries over Western
expats, saying that Indians, Filipinos and Malaysians all have the same
cross posting opportunities to gain experience and be considered for the
most senior roles.
have noticed that Indians seem to have taken over CitiBank in the region.
Today, Filipinos and other Asians have a better chance than expats to get
the top regional jobs,” he said.
Becoming Noticed Mills said the Asia-Pacific region accounts for less than
15 percent of total revenues for most multinational companies. Many still
see Asia as a
place to sell and deploy and not much more.
The entire gross domestic product (GDP) of the Philippines is about 25
percent of the GDP of Dallas-Fort Worth or Philadelphia. The Canadian
consultant said countries in
Southeast Asia are small and need to work together to be noticed. That means
successful managers need to be able to manage different cultures.
In his presentation, Mills also mentioned “immigration concerns”
encountered by expats. “We constantly get calls from expatriates whose
term has ended and they want to stay. Many cite beautiful Filipinas as one
reason. Philippine immigration is considered unfriendly. We lose motivated
and experienced management talent as a result,” he said.
the article above
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