Hong Kong Summit Explores Business Travel

On 18 January at the Regal Hongkong Hotel, delegates from across the APAC region convened to connect and share information on the most pressing issues and opportunities for global talent mobility.  Following an opening welcome from Worldwide ERC® President and CEO, Peggy Smith, SCRP, SGMS-T, panelists began the day with a session on “hybrid nomads,” or strategies for managing multiple, consecutive one-way assignments.  Even with the best of planning, if an employee accepts assignments and goes into localized terms and conditions over the course of a career, the result can be a complicated patchwork of compensation, health care and other benefit plans.  Moderated by Robert Horsley of Fragomen Worldwide, panel members included Bruce Lee, PwC International Assignment Services (Hong Kong) Limited; Adie Leung, CitiGroup; and Carrie Tse, with KKR Asia Limited, who explored a number of strategies to minimize the adverse impacts.

The program continued with a session on some of the key challenges and risks associated with cross-border and Intra-Asia travel. Moderator Christina Karl, BAL, led a discussion with panelists Lane Aldred of International SOS; Roy Fu with HSBC, and Debbie Winston of Darwin Consulting on current immigration and tax compliance requirements, and how to navigate health and safety challenges in certain locations.  

Progressive companies understand that positive employee experiences lead to more efficiencies and ultimately better bottom line business performance.  One of the day’s sessions was dedicated to reviewing techniques that companies use for capturing, measuring and improving the mobile employee experience.  Horsley, Charles Caldwell of English Schools Foundation, Kerwin Guillermo of Hewlett Packard and Mariam Ka Lam, SGMS, of Western Digital, looked at how service partners could help not only in the capturing of data, but ways to effectively measure and use it to drive employee engagement and fuel high performance.

Following an opportunity to interact with partners to learn about new innovations and services in the marketplace, roundtable discussions gave delegates an opportunity to select two sessions, interacting in small groups with peers.  The discussions centered on duty of care (and understanding the true stakes of immigration non-compliance law suits), obtaining work authorizations for PRC talent in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, how to align talent mobility to support strategic business objectives, managing lump-sum programs, the changes currently taking shape in global talent mobility and how to keep business travelers in check.

The program concluded with Smith moderating a panel discussion about what the future of work looks like, and how to build a world-class talent management program ready to make the most of it. With a variety of perspectives and expertise from panelists Lizzie Beard, EY; Catherine Kwong, Spencer Stuart Associates; Vasanthi Ramesh, Johnson & Johnson; and Regan Taikitsadaporn, Marriott International, Inc.; delegates engaged in conversations around how AI, robotics, virtual work and gig employment/self-managed careers are shaping the way we work, and shared strategies for managing the mobility of work to stay current with the pace of change.

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