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article imageSurvey: Canada, Germany and Australia the World's Friendliest Countries

By Chris V. Thangham     Dec 10, 2008 in World
Results of a survey from HSBC Bank International show Canada, Germany and Australia to be the friendliest countries in the world. The U.S. is No. 6 in the rankings and the United Arab Emirates finished last.
HSBC Bank International's "Expat Explorer Survey" was done to find out what countries are favorable for expatriates, how well they adjust to local conditions and how well they become friends with the locals.
The study surveyed 2,155 expats from 48 countries spanning four continents early this year. The respondents were asked to rate the country in four categories: Ability to befriend locals; whether they joined local community groups; those who learned the local language; and those who bought any local property.
Martin Spurling, CEO of HSBC Bank International, and Head of HSBC Global Offshore, told Forbes.com:
"We conducted this survey to better understand expatriate needs and get insight into the emotions of expats. The banking business is all about trust, especially with the recent credit crisis...We want them to build a relationship with their wealth manager regardless of where they travel."
About 95 per cent of respondents said Canada is the most welcoming country of all; Germany came next with 92 per cent; and Australia was third with 91 per cent. The United Arab Emirates finished last in the survey and was found to be the most difficult for expats, as only 54 per cent were able to make friends with locals.
American respondents found Canada to be the most favorable country; language is not an issue except in French parts of Canada, low government corruption and cultural diversity all made it easy for them to settle in Canada, according to Patricia Linderman, editor of Tales from a Small Planet, an online newsletter for expats.
Forbes gives a number of tips for expats to make their stay in a foreign country worthwhile: They recommend expats to join a local community group or a local sports team to foster friendships with locals, as that in turn helps their business indirectly. Also, churches, organizations and schools provide great opportunities to become friends with locals.
Germany provides plenty of opportunities for expats, which makes them the second most popular country. Germany has many international schools, so expats who have kids can settle easily.
Australia scored high in friendliness but ranks last when it came to joining a group. One of the reasons is because many expats are in the 18-34 group, an age range where they don’t need organized groups to meet new people.
China, India and the United Arab Emirates scored very low mainly because of the cultural differences between Western and the Eastern customs. Also, the languages are very hard to learn in these countries.
The rankings from 4 to 14 are: U.K., India, U.S., Hong Kong, Spain, France, Netherlands, China, Belgium, Singapore and U.A.E.
To find the top 14 countries click the link here.
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