International expansion is very useful both for companies that are doing well on domestic market and those that have problems with presenting their set of products or services to the home crowd. First group of companies use international expansion to search for bigger and more lucrative markets when their domestic market becomes small, while companies from the second group are looking for new opportunities and markets where their products and services will create much more interest.
However, international expansion has its difficulties for both groups and needs to be elaborately planned. This process can be very time-consuming and it can be completely different depending on the preferred country. That’s why it’s important to find the right team of experts who do business on the targeted market or trusted local partners.
First step of any international expansion would be to choose the country that would suit the best for company’s foreign expansion. During this process it is important to have in mind company’s strategy and business objectives and to objectively review business opportunities targeted country is offering. Here are some of the important criteria that should be reviewed:
- Size of the country’s market
- GDP per capita
- Level of consumerist culture
- Legal procedures
- Cultural differences and barriers
- Experiences of other international companies that incorporated there
- Direct competition
- Physical accessibility to the market
Good source for targeting new markets is World Bank’s annual “Ease of Doing Business” list. In 2015 the 12th edition of this report came out and it reviews 187 countries from best to worst when it comes to ease of doing business. Here we’re going to list the top five markets from this report:
Singapore has been in the top five countries for doing business since forever. This small country has a very dynamic economy and a lot of foreign company headquarters on its soil. City of Singapore is a major transport hub for this part of the world, and it is also the largest private wealth hub in the world. Singapore company incorporation is one of the easiest processes of this kind in the whole world and its government is offering plenty of grants and programs that are made to help both local and foreign entrepreneurs who decided to incorporate in this exotic business heaven.
This country has the smallest economy in the first five countries on the World Bank’s list, but nevertheless New Zealand is one of the least corrupted societies in the world, with very low levels of red tape and a strong investor’s protection. Its market which is traditionally tied to Australia came out from the 2008 Economic crisis almost intact and since then we can see this small island economy on all kinds of top ten business lists and in various business articles. New Zealand also has plenty of renewable energy sources, transparent judicial system, very bright and engaged workers and one of the best education systems in the world.
Hong Kong is Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China and it is operating under the “One country, two systems” rules. This is probably one of the most developed parts of the whole PRC and its government influence stops at health care and educational system, while the Hong Kong Administration keeps the business wheels running. This means that Hong Kong is one of the freest economies in the world that offers plenty of business opportunities. Same as Singapore this country represents a big transport, manufacturing and industrial hub for all kinds of goods that range from latest tech gadgets to agricultural products.
This Scandinavian country is also among top five countries for doing business for several years now and it is also one of the most transparent societies with a very low corruption index. It can serve as a nice hub for the whole EU market that’s one of the wealthiest on the planet with more than 100 million high paid consumers. Its capital Copenhagen is well connected with Germany and a rest of Europe as well as with Scandinavia, with the long bridge that goes from Copenhagen to Malmo in Sweden. It should also be noted that Denmark is a country with the high standard of living, which can be a minor obstacle, since average salaries here are much bigger than in the most other EU countries.
Although being one of the popular Asian Tigers, South Korea is a very traditional society. When it comes to business one of the most important parameters is that this country is located between three financial giants, China, Japan and Russia and this part of Asia accumulates 22% of the world’s GDP. Korea is one of the biggest exporters of IT products and it has very fast and cheap broadband and excellent telecommunications infrastructure. When it comes to Korean market it is very developed, rich and it is responsive to all the new brands and trends. Like all other countries from this list South Korea is place where many global companies work from.