The new ambassadors: British expats

25th May 2012

Millions of Brits living abroad have become "ambassadors" for the UK, new research has found.

The latest NatWest International Personal Banking Quality of Life Index reported that the 4.6 million British expats living and working abroad help to reshape the areas they live in, exporting their own culture and lifestyle and mixing it up with their foreign counterparts.

According to the study, which was conducted in unison with the Centre for Future Studies, Brits have set up base in 153 countries. Of these, 41 countries have an expat population of at least 10,000, while 112 have at least 1,000 Brits in residence.

Dave Isley, Head of NatWest International Personal Banking, said that either by "design or accident", British expats have taken on a sort of ambassadorial position, whereby they play a "pivotal role" in promoting certain values and best practices.

"Their contribution to local economies and communities - either financially or socially - cannot be underestimated," he added.

"The common glue is the English language which has proved to be a vital tool and has played a leading role in the globalised world. It has provided a common platform for international drive; driven global collaboration and thinking; and opened the doors to opportunities around the world."

Moving to Australia, moving to Spain and moving to the USA are the top three expat destinations for Brits looking to make a change to their lives both professionally and personally.

It is no surprise, as this study noted, that Brits have such an influence and presence in a given country and area, as their reputation is "globally renowned", especially when it comes to businessmen and women.

This is why many of them have been recruited by some of the world's top businesses, with Brits tending to deliver consultancy work in technology and management industries, followed closely by senior positions in manufacturing.

With China continuing to cement itself as a global economic giant, the new land of opportunity, more and more Brits are heading to the East to experience a radically new way of life.

Beijing and Shanghai, two of the major business quarters in China, are now home to over 38,000 British expats; a figure which is expected to grow massively in the foreseeable future.

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