Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of the surveyed said that labor mobility allowed them to hire better quality people, while more than eight out of ten respondents (82 percent) agreed that better labor mobility gives them a greater pool of talent from which to choose.

Nearly 70 percent of respondents felt that hiring people from other countries fosters better understanding of global markets, with 76 percent saying that foreign workers help develop a valuable global mindset.

While companies with operations in Japan, for example, take significant numbers of workers from Asia, companies in the UK, Spain and the US show no particular preference as to where their workers come from.

Among the European states there is a slight tendency to take workers from other European countries, but the largest groups of foreign workers among companies operating in the UK is Australians (12 percent) Indians and French (11 percent each).

For companies in the US, the largest single group of workers comes from the UK (14 percent) followed by India (9 percent) China and Germany (both on 7 percent).

The study was conducted in September 2008 – February 2009 where 260 executives in 11 countries participated in the survey.