If you have plans to expand your business overseas, some business ecosystems are a better choice than others. Choosing the right one for your company is important. After all, this is no cheap feat. You may need to break ground on new facilities, have your website translated into a foreign language, and invest in new business relationships. You may even need to start up a new round of investment funding.
Whether they have friendly tax and tariff policies, inexpensive manufacturing options, or other perks, these five markets meet the criteria for being best choices for international business expansion. If the time is right to go global, check out these five markets before you make a final decision.
Singapore regularly earns spots on ‘best of’ lists when it comes to startup and expansion friendly ecosystems. That is nothing new. Singapore’s government is well-known for being extremely generous to foreign corporations seeking to do business there. Even better, the popular EntrePass scheme is now available for two years initially instead of one year. The government has also agreed to waive the previous mandate requiring a certain amount of paid capital in order to qualify.
Tech companies have even more to celebrate. Now, Singapore is offering significant co-investment funds to companies that either start or expand their tech enterprises there. Add this to the fact that Singapore has some amazing business talent, and it is no wonder that this country is the ideal place for so many businesses to expand.
2. The United Kingdom
The UK is known for providing ease of entry to companies that want to open operations there. It is a friendly ecosystem for many types of business. This ranges from retail to manufacturing to IT. Businesses encounter very few roadblocks or resistance when it comes to getting started. Another benefit is that businesses originating in other English speaking companies may be able to save some translation expenses. However, they should probably count on needing a localization service to help them reach out to this new market successfully.
Another benefit of expanding into the UK is their vast supply of skilled labor and professional talent. The UK has the second largest workforce in the EU. They have a stable economy, and large parts of the country are desirable in terms of housing, schools, and other factors that encourage skilled workers to remain.
Finally, new businesses can count on a very stable and well-supported infrastructure. All expected resources such as telecommunications, transportation, and energy are readily available and well-maintained.
3. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is very friendly to westerners. It also provides great access to mainland China. These are just two reasons that Hong Kong is appealing for business expansion overseas. The local government is extremely hospitable to foreign interests setting up businesses there as well. Unlike many other countries, Hong Kong allows foreign business owners to act as sole proprietors or heads of companies without bringing on local principals. InvestHK has been specifically created to provide support for foreign businesses expanding or opening there.
There is also plenty of financial stability. The banking sector is healthy and rates of corruption are impressively low. Corporate tax is zero. Other taxes are capped at very reasonable amounts. Hong Kong is also a very safe and healthy place to live. This makes it much easier to convince existing employees to make the move in order to help get any new facilities up and running. While many residents are fluent English speakers, thanks to Hong Kong being an international business hub, there is a language barrier to contend with. This is especially true if you may have customers in rural areas of mainland China and other countries. By consulting a translation services guide, you can find the ideal company to help ensure you can conduct business smoothly and with cultural sensitivity.
4. New Zealand
New Zealand is considered to be the most friendly country to new businesses in the world. It is beautiful and hospitable. While those features may seem more appealing for tourism than business, the truth is the better quality of life in a country, the easier it is to get existing team members to move abroad. It’s also quite easy to obtain work Visas for those employees.
If you are interested in further expansion into Pacific countries, or simply doing business with them, New Zealand is a great place to set up operations. They have trade agreements with countries across Asia. New Zealand is also very well-known for facilitating businesses. You may be impressed by how quickly you launch.
One challenge you may face is understanding and adapting to Maori culture. While the Maori are in no way a majority population, their influence in society is huge. This absolutely extends to business and commerce. Fortunately, localization companies may be able to help your employees navigate this.
5. The Netherlands
There are many features that make The Netherlands the ideal country for expanding operations. First, it is ideally located. A strong transportation network connects it physically to the rest of Europe. The country also boasts the globe’s most expansive internet hub. Thanks to the 30 percent tax ruling, skilled workers moving into the country can enjoy a significant financial benefit. Several initiatives, including StartupDelta, helps expanding businesses succeed.
The region is friendly to foreign owned businesses that several well-known corporations including Tesla, Uber, and Next Door have all opted to open their European headquarters there. They also host Summit AI, The TNW conference, and other tech events.
There are several different factors that make a country desirable for business expansion. Is the area safe? Does the government take action to help foreign companies get established? Are there plentiful skilled workers? Are manufacturing costs reasonable? What about taxes and other schemes? Infrastructure is, of course, always an important consideration.
Considering the amount of time and investment that goes into international expansion, location isn’t something to be taken lightly. While the five countries listed here are not the only ones that are friendly for business expansion, each has a lot to offer. Anyone considering expanding beyond their borders should definitely consider these five countries.
Dina Indelicato is a blogger enthusiast and freelance writer. She is always open to research about new topics and gain new experiences to share with her readers. You can find her on Twitter @DinaIndelicato and LinkedIn.
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