Are you in the early stages of planning your company’s international expansion strategy? No matter where you’re headquartered, consider Asia as your next landing spot.
With strong and growing economies, it’s one of the most dynamic regions in the world for business growth. It’s an ideal location for companies that are expanding internationally in order to expand their total addressable market as well as access top-tier talent.
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.
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.
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.
Bordering Singapore, Malaysia may come as a surprise to firms just exploring global expansion—but it has much to offer. Much like its neighbor, 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.
The current population of Thailand is 69 million. It has been widely cited as a development success story, moving from a low-income to an upper-income country in less than a generation.
For decades, Thailand has been a stronghold for automobile manufacturing. The government offers land ownership rights for international investors and smooth visa and permit processes.
Establishing a branch office or subsidiary in Thailand to engage a small team is time-consuming, expensive, and complex. Thai labor law has strong worker protections, so requiring great attention to detail and an understanding of local best practices is important.
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.
Asia offers growing tech firms fertile ground for growing their brand abroad. But companies must perform their due diligence before selecting a market for global expansion.
So, with the regions we mentioned above, we hope that you’ll consider them to be part of your own cross-border expansion journey.