The United States is the most desirable country in the world for business expansion (33 percent), followed by the UK (30 percent), China (29 percent), Hong Kong (27 percent) and Germany (26 percent), according to The art of connecting global business, an international report published by BT.
The top three countries were ranked highly based on their potential customer base and the average affluence and disposable income of their citizens.
The report surveys 1150 business decision makers based in 13 regions around the globe, exploring the reasons for international expansion, which markets are desirable and why, the effects of being a ‘digital first’ economy and barriers to expansion.
Singapore has emerged as the third most desirable country in the Asia Pacific region and sixth in the world by companies looking to expand their business overseas.
The survey finds that an overwhelming 80 percent of business decision makers believe that international expansion is highly essential for the success of their organization.
Seventy-five percent say that growth opportunities are the main reason prompting them to look to expand overseas.
Technology factors key to business expansion
The lack of an adequately competent IT infrastructure is one of the key challenges hindering overseas growth.
In making the decision to expand overseas, 91 percent of businesses agree that if a country is a “digital-first” economy then this is of “great help” for overseas expansion.
“Digital-first” economies are those which have a ubiquitous, nationwide, high speed internet connection.
Other technology factors taken into consideration include the quality of IT infrastructure and services (62 percent), the quality of digital and communications infrastructure (62 percent) and the IT skills of the workforce (52 percent).
The survey also highlights several technology factors that businesses look for when expanding into other countries, with 62 percent of respondents flagging the quality of IT infrastructure and services, 60 percent the quality of digital and communications infrastructure and 52 percent the IT skills of the workforce as being important in decision-making.