By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com
Although six in ten (62%) respondents admit they are relying on international business to drive growth, companies are adopting a more risk-averse approach as a result of increasing macroeconomic worries. In fact, BDO’s annual survey of over 1,000 CFOs from mid-sized companies planning foreign expansion has revealed that businesses have become more cautious, with 66% planning to significantly increase investment in safe haven markets.
The US, UK and Germany all secure top-10 spots as sought-after markets for international expansion, with the US in second, Germany in fifth and the UK in seventh place. Intention to invest in these three markets has also seen a collective rise, with over a third (36%) planning investment here in 2012, compared with only a quarter (26%) in 2011.
France drops from the seventh most attractive country for investment to thirteenth, while Japan comes in at twenty-seventh: it was previously ranked seventeenth. Cultural and language issues are cited as significant barriers to success in both markets, with a number of CFOs commenting that the change of government in France has created uncertainty, adding to it being perceived as a less attractive investment destination.