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As the economic situation shows no signs of improving, the notion of overseas opportunities is looking more appealing to many Brits.
MARK TILLEY discusses why heading overseas could be the best solution.
Winter is coming to an end; but the dark gloom of the recession still continues to loom large on these shores. As the economic situation shows no signs of improving, the notion of overseas opportunities is looking more appealing to many Brits. The credit crunch may be a global problem but, according to Kate Hughes in The Independent, there are some safer havens to choose from.
Several countries are nominated as good locations for moving funds. Oliver Watson, regional managing director of international recruitment consultant Michael Page, suggests that a "sound gross domestic product (GDP) and an economy linked to natural resources" are what should be looked for when searching for the best places to relocate your dwindling finances. Brazil is identified as a potential location - their economy is suffering but the effects aren't as bad as other countries. Brazil's global location means that it isn't privy to the sort of debts that Western countries have accrued.
Another interesting choice mooted is New Zealand. The steady nature of their economy means that they too have weathered the storm better than most and their newly elected government is dedicated to keeping the economy at such a level. Also, the financial situation has changed the national stance on immigration and immigrants with money to spend are highly likely to be allowed in.
A traditionally high savings rate means that China and Malaysia are suitable candidates. China's low level of government debt and the tendency for Asian banks to fund lending through deposits (Â‘the old fashioned way', as Hughes puts it), means that cash levels are still high in the part of the world, despite the strong link between Eastern and Western economies. The apparent strength in natural resources comes into play as well in Middle Eastern areas such as Abu Dhabi and Qatar. A large amount of oil reserves means that economic growth in this area should return quicker than most countries. Add that to the fact that great deals of businesses move out there for long term investment and you have a potentially booming market.
Are there places to avoid? You can bet your savings there are. Australia seems to be one to stay away from; just listen to Mark Bodega, of the currency trader HiFX.com. "The government has halved its economic growth forecast for 2008/09 to 1 per cent, and the central bank cut interest rates to 3.25 per cent, the lowest in 45 years." People are even being advised to avoid previous economic stronghold Dubai. Redundancies there are becoming more and more common and property values are dropping like flies.
All in all, it seems that there are options for even the most suffering of British money holders. It appears that proper, lengthy planning and research is the key to a successful move abroad. The economies of even the best options are hardly secure at the moment and there are other costs to consider if one is serious about leaving the UK for pastures new - think Visa's, healthcare, travel expenses, the usual. The bottom line? If you want to leave, don't just take into account the better weather or you'll end up with more problems than just sunburn