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Grant Thornton: Red tape threatens

By Rob Starr, Content Manager,

The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR)  asked business leaders what they saw as the major challenges to the international growth prospects of their operations. The issue cited most by businesses around the world was regulations and legislation – nearly one in two (45%) said it was a barrier. This was ahead of finding the right workers (35%), cultural and linguistic barriers (31%), logistics (28%) and access to finance (20%).

UK Prime Minister David Cameron recently labelled regulatory reform a priority for the remainder of his parliamentary term, to make it easier for British planning and infrastructure projects to get off the ground – driving business investment and economic growth.

Ed Nusbaum, CEO of Grant Thornton International Ltd commented:

“Globalisation is no longer simply a case of mature economy businesses looking for low cost labour and land in emerging economies. Increasingly businesses in emerging economies are looking to invest in peers from mature economies in order to access key skills, processes and technologies,” he said.

“With governments cutting spending, growth rates slow and unemployment rates high in most of these mature economies, the danger is that protectionist regulations are adopted to shelter local businesses. However, investment from higher growth emerging markets might be just the thing to get their own economies moving.

“Similarly, many sectors in emerging economies remain closed to FDI. Governments the world over are going to have to demonstrate more progressive thinking to solve the issue of excessive red tape. It might mean more cross-border collaboration, but it should also mean engaging more with business leaders who are dealing with the issues every day.”

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