expat network

Number Of Expat Workers Over One Million By 2021

The global trend for international mobility looks set to continue as smaller and medium-sized multinationals, in particular, drive growth and encourage greater movement of employees around the world.

This is a key finding from a study by Finaccord, which reveals that the number of multinationals worldwide is on course to reach 13,900 by 2021 while the number of employees who are classed as expatriate or corporate transferees will exceed one million.

Despite being relatively few in number, ‘mega multinationals’ are estimated to generate more than two thirds (67.1 percent) of the total number of expatriate and other corporate transferees employed by multinationals.

Finaccord’s David Bowles said : “Among all multinationals globally, our analysis indicates that enterprises in two sectors – namely, energy and power plus professional services – are particularly significant, and that corporate transferees are being generated most rapidly by enterprises based in the Asia-Pacific region. In fact, the top five enterprises by this measure are all headquartered in the Asia-Pacific region: Tata Group employs the most such transferees followed by two other India-based enterprises, Infosys and Wipro, and then by the state-owned China National Petroleum and Taiwan-based manufacturing group Foxconn. In total, there are likely to be more than one million expatriate and other corporate transferees employed by multinationals by 2021.”

Overall, there were a total of around 12,230 multinational enterprises worldwide with revenues of at least US$200 million in 2017 and their number increased at a compound annual rate of 2 per cent between 2013 and 2017. There were around 838,600 expatriate and other corporate transferees employed by these multinationals in 2017 and, given a compound annual rate of 4.1 per cent since 2013, this number has been growing at a faster rate than the number of multinational enterprises as a result of the increasing trend for international mobility.

The research established that the fastest growth in the number of multinational enterprises is occurring among those with annual revenues of between US$1 billion and US$10 billion, and among those headquartered in Africa or the Asia-Pacific region (especially China). In contrast, it is likely that the number of multinational enterprises with revenues of over US$20 billion has fallen slightly in recent years, a trend that can be attributed to mergers and acquisitions as well as individual company performance.

Looking ahead, Finaccord calculates that the rate of growth in the number of multinational enterprises worldwide is likely to be 3.2 percent between 2017 and 2021, resulting in a total of almost 13,900 by 2021.