Trading tensions may be flaring between some of the world’s major powers, but businesses looking to go global and expand overseas still have a wealth of promising destinations to choose from. Here are four markets worth considering expanding your business to in 2019.
Sweden has held its reputation as a haven for international businesses for many years now – in 2017, it topped Forbes’ list of the best countries to do business in, and the 2018 list only saw the Scandinavian country drop one place in the rankings. There are several reasons for this strong showing – it has one of the world’s highest performing, most rapidly expanding economies, but it also has low corporation taxes, and an easily navigable regulatory framework that avoids excessive bureaucracy.
Beyond the significant economic and regulatory benefits, Sweden remains a popular destination for companies looking to expand internationally by moving employees overseas, due to its reputation for high quality of life and workforce satisfaction.
With Brexit threatening to disrupt the flow of business in and around Europe, the Netherlands has only strengthened its position as a hub for businesses looking to set up a base within the EU. According to the expat news and information site Expatica, the Netherlands has also been a popular destination for businesses leaving the UK as a result of Brexit.
As well as its strong transport links with the rest of Europe, the Netherlands is also the sixth largest economy within the EU, and enjoys a particularly strong, highly mechanized agricultural industry – currently, it is the world’s second largest agricultural exporter.
In the past, businesses and investors have steered clear of most African markets – while the continent has no shortage of diverse business conditions across multiple countries, issues affecting some countries have often made investors wary.
While the island nation of Mauritius has traditionally been seen as the continent’s best business prospect, in recent years it has seen competition from several others. Arguably the most impressive among these is Rwanda, once a low-income agricultural economy, now one of the fastest growing economies in central Africa. In fact, the business registration process in Rwanda, together with its knowledge and service industries and strict anti-corruption measures, led to its ranking within the World Bank’s top 50 countries for ease of doing business.
With central African markets including Botswana and Kenya joining more usual business destinations like South Africa and Mauritius, Rwanda could prove an ideal destination for companies looking to do business on the continent.
Perhaps not the first market that springs to mind when you are considering expanding your business abroad, but in recent years Vietnam has seen an influx of investment from overseas
International expansion consultancy Galvin International suggests that it is Vietnam’s strong growth, burgeoning stock market and performance in the manufacturing and construction industries that is behind the current influx of overseas investment.
Then there is the loosening of the country’s traditionally strict rules on foreign investment, which is being driven by the country’s prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in a drive to make the country more attractive to businesses from abroad.
All of these factors have made the country an attractive prospect for expanding businesses looking for an emerging market to set up in early, and which offers ready access into other Asian markets – China, for example.
Whether you’re looking for an established business hub like Sweden, or want to embrace Vietnam’s growth ahead of the curve, each of these markets offer distinct opportunities for businesses looking to achieve international success during 2019.