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Singapore enters top 10 list of most attractive destinations for global talent

Fewer Singaporeans and other Southeast Asians want to work abroad




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Singapore—Singapore has ranked eighth in a worldwide study of preferred destinations for global talent, jumping 10 places from the previous year.

The low incidence of Covid-19 cases has meant that Singapore, along with other countries in the Asia Pacific region, is increasingly being seen by global talent as a highly attractive work destination, based on Decoding Global Talent, Onsite and Virtual, a survey of 209,000 people in 190 countries by the Boston Consulting Group and The Network, which released the results earlier this month.

The 10 most favoured destinations are:

  1. Canada
  2. USA
  3. Australia
  4. Germany
  5. UK
  6. Japan
  7. Switzerland
  8. Singapore
  9. France
  10. New Zealand

A media release that accompanied the study’s results said that Singapore is “leading a regional charge that positions Asia Pacific as an increasingly attractive destination for global talent”.

The study has shown that Malaysia, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan are also viewed positively by global talent.

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Incidentally, one interesting item in the study’s results is that it shows that fewer residents in the Asia Pacific region wish to work overseas. Only 50 per cent of the respondents expressed a willingness to work abroad, down from 64 per cent in 2014, and 57 per cent in 2018.

Respondents in Southeast Asia, in particular, have expressed decreased willingness to work abroad, with those surveyed in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines all showing a marked decrease in the desire to work overseas.

For example, in 2015, 95 per cent of respondents from Thailand said they wanted to work abroad. In 2020, only 46 per cent expressed this sentiment.

In Singapore, in 2018, 70 per cent of respondents said they wanted to work overseas. In the latest survey, this number had dropped to 44 per cent. 

According to Ming Teck Kong, Managing Director and Southeast Asia Leader for People & Organization at BCG, “The pandemic has transformed the attitudes of global talent, with the fall in respondents expressing an ambition to move abroad particularly acute in Southeast Asia.

Asia Pacific is now seen as an increasingly attractive destination, partly due to positive performance in tackling COVID caseloads.”

As for the top 10 most-attractive destinations for global talent, Australia, Japan, and Singapore, all of which have a low incidence of Covid cases, are included on the list for respondents from Southeast Asia.

Notably,  Kuala Lumpur also entered the list of the top 30 most attractive cities for the first time.

Conversely, New York, Barcelona, Rome, and Madrid, all of which had high Covid numbers, have fallen down the list. 

More good news for Singapore: the country is the most favoured destination for remote employment in Southeast Asia, and the ninth worldwide. 

Ramesh Rajandran, Chief Marketing Officer at SEEK Asia, the largest employment marketplace in Southeast Asia, said, “The pandemic has significantly disrupted the employment market and accelerated digitisation of businesses, resulting in a ‘shift’ towards remote employment.

 “That said, employers should not compromise on seeking out the best talent available — as remote working culture is today as mainstream as physical work environments — if they are to attain high levels of productivity, efficiency and innovation.”


Read also: Singapore ranks 11th best city in the world on Global Cities Index

Singapore ranks 11th best city in the world on Global Cities Index

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