Why Asia Remains a Top Global Expansion Region

Why Asia Remains a Top Global Expansion Region?

Asia is the second-most desired region for growing U.S. and UK tech firms, placing behind Europe. The following criteria determined each market’s ranking:

In 2020, nearly a quarter of U.S. and UK tech firms see Asian markets
as their top choice for growing revenue. 33% of tech executives
believe Asian markets top others in terms of tech skills availability—a
four percentage point increase from 2019’s report. China, Japan, India,
Hong Kong and Singapore were the most commonly-targeted markets
for top talent access.

While China is the twentieth-most desired market, 56% of executives rank it higher than other Asian markets when it comes to driving revenue growth.

1 Asian Market for Global Expansion: Singapore

Singapore is no longer just a leading market for revenue growth. In
2020, U.S. and UK tech executives named it their top market for
global expansion.

Singapore rose four spots from last year’s Global Expansion Tech
Index to claim the #1 spot on this year’s report. 21% of U.S. and UK
tech executives cite Singapore as their first choice for accessing top
tech talent in the region.

But it’s not just talent drawing tech firms. Singapore scored well
across the board; the country topped all other markets in terms of ease
of doing business and outperformed all other Asian markets on the
index in regards to skills availability and innovation capability.

2 Asian Market for Global Expansion: Hong Kong

Despite social and political unrest, Hong Kong remains a top-five choice for tech executives in 2020. Hong Kong is the fifth-most desired global market for expanding U.S. and UK tech firms.

26% of tech executives see Hong Kong as the top destination in the region for accessing premier talent, ahead of the index’s top market, Singapore.

While Hong Kong’s GDP did not fare as well as other Asian markets in 2019, some analysts viewed the country’s unrest as a “hyper stress test,” with the country passing that test. Hong Kong’s dollar sits at near three-year high and, as of December 2019, traded at a six-month high on the Hang Seng index, Hong Kong’s stock market.

Hong Kong places closely behind index-topper Singapore in terms of regulation and ease of doing business. But perhaps more impressive is Hong Kong’s foreign direct investment, topping even Singapore, at 23.8% of its GDP.

3 Asian Market for Global Expansion: South Korea

South Korea is among the top Asian markets for the second year in a row, thanks to strong performances in multiple categories. It remains one of the easiest markets in which to do business, both in-and outside of Asia. The World Bank listed it as the fifth-most business-friendly country in the world, and the third-easiest market in Asia, behind only Singapore and Hong Kong, respectively.

Of the Asian markets, South Korea places third in terms of knowledge availability, making it one of the most promising markets for firms’ tech talent searches. Businesses reliant on exports and imports find South Korea an easy market in which to do business. It places third behind Singapore and Hong Kong, with South Korea’s infrastructure streamlining regional and global trade on the Global Expansion Tech Index.

4 Asian Market for Global Expansion: Malaysia

Bordering Singapore, Malaysia may come as a surprise to firms just exploring global expansion—but it has much to offer. Much like its neighbour, Singapore, and other top Asian nations, Malaysia offers one of the most business-friendly markets anywhere.

Though Malaysia sits fourth among Asian markets overall, it takes third place (behind Singapore and Hong Kong, respectively) for its GDP growth.
Similarly, Malaysia’s foreign direct investment outpaces all other markets in
the region except for Singapore and Hong Kong.

5 Asian Market for Global Expansion: China

China remains an attractive market for companies across the globe, with U.S. and UK tech firms citing it as a top market for its strong GDP. China’s GDP (surpassed only by the United States’ GDP) is the primary driver of growth opportunities.

Despite China’s low scores in most categories and 56% of tech executives see China as the top Asian market for revenue growth. For the U.S., 59% cited China as a key market for global growth.

China scored poorly for secure internet connectivity, rates of internet use among its population, inward investment, and, in stark contrast to other top Asian markets, skills availability.

However, businesses must weigh whether or not other Asian markets on the index offer more favourable environments. And with the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, businesses must heavily consider a flexible expansion method and plans into China.