Economic Recession and Returning Asian Expatriates
Uploaded by liebermann on Oct 31, 2011
This essay discusses the economic recession/depression in Asia, and the difficulties returning expatriates face in the job market there. It also discusses expatriates in general, and then moves on to discuss ways in which human resources personnel can help the returnees fit into the corporate structure when they resume their duties, or join the company.
The world is a much smaller place than it once was and its population is far more mobile. It’s no longer particularly unusual when someone lives and works overseas for a time before returning to their homeland—if they do in fact return.
This paper discusses the impact of the economic recession in Asia has on returning expatriates, and what human resources personnel can do to assist the returnees.
II Impact of the Economic Recession
The economic crisis that swept Asia in the 1980’s and through most of the 1990’s has been demoralizing and widespread, and has shown clearly in the numbers of people leaving the region to work elsewhere. The recession has been profound; comparable, according to some, to the Great Depression that devastated the United States in the 1920’s through World War II. One source discusses the causes of the drop, but as is usually the case with such movements, cannot pinpoint a single factor that precipitated the actual decline.
“The World Bank's East Asian "miracle economies" - Japan, the four "tigers" of Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, together with the economies of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, which grew at perhaps the highest and most sustained rates in history - appear to have gone into reverse.” (Skeldon, 1998).
A moment’s consideration reveals how astonishing and disturbing this is; seven different countries with high population density and “powerhouse” economies suddenly went into freefall. Citing The Far Eastern Economic Review of 10 September 1998, Skeldon reveals that the declines were not fractions of points, but huge drops in the GDP: Hong Kong down 5 percent; Indonesia down 16.5 percent; Japan dropping 1.3 percent; Malaysia down 6.8 percent; the Philippines down 1.2 percent; South Korea losing 6.6 percent; and Thailand dropping 9.4 percent. (1998).
The numbers continued to spiral downwards as the crisis developed. The precipitous decline in the GDP also brought numerous failures of banks and other financial institutions, and an equally plunging stock market. You’ll note, as mentioned above, that there seems to be no...