If your company wanted to establish a presence in China, might you be asked to travel there? Which Chinese city would be most advantageous for your company goals?
What if your CEO is considering opening Vancouver or Halifax offices? How do living conditions, language, and the workforce differ in British Columbia from Nova Scotia?
When your Hong Kong client wants to relocate a team to the U.S., where do you start advising them? What do specific American cities offer that might enhance the team’s opportunities for success?
Typically, you can rely on certain requirements – like entry visas and customs laws – being uniform nationwide. But true insight demands layers of local knowledge. Anything from cultural mores to laws and nuances of business can vary by city, province, or region.
Much of a city’s attraction is directly related to what the company hopes to achieve there and what kind of access is required for people and materials. So once that decision is made, how do you prepare your people for relocation?
Giving them country information that drills down to the city level informs both essential national procedures – like visa applications – and useful local details about driving and food shopping. People moving to a large, diverse country need all of it.
In China, setting up a plant in Guangzhou is a different experience from establishing one in Shanghai. Guangzhou is a manufacturing city offering easy travel access to Hong Kong and other countries. Shanghai, while less accessible, is a financial hub with active nightlife.
Moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia is very different from a move to Vancouver. Though they are both coastal cities, Halifax residents experience an average of 85 days a year with snow on the ground, while Vancouverites average only 10.
A move to New York City is vastly different from relocating to Miami — and not just because of the climate. New York City workers pay income tax to the federal and state governments, as well as a personal income tax to the city. However, there is no state income tax in Florida, so Miami residents pay only federal income tax.
Preparation breeds success in a new location. Knowing what to expect can save time and money, and reduce anxiety. Living Abroad’s International Relocation Center includes individual reports on more than 50 metropolitan areas, with hundreds more cities discussed within country reports. Get help assisting your mobile employees, and give them the knowledge boost they need to succeed in a new city.
Written by Ellen Harris, GMS – International Product Director, Living Abroad