Expat entrepreneurs sowing the seeds of success abroad

by Ray Clancy on September 29, 2011

Singapore, Hong Kong and US nurture enterprise

Some 70% of expat entrepreneurs believe they have achieved more by working abroad, according to a new survey.

And 78% of expat entrepreneurs say faster growth is one of the major advantages of running a business abroad, the fourth annual NatWest International Personal Banking (IPB) Quality of Life Index has found.

Looking ahead almost a quarter, 22%, consider their business prospects for the next three years as excellent or very good.

They rated Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States as the top three countries for nurturing enterprise, while Spain, the United Arab Emirates and China are the worst. The countries with the most positive business prospects are Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, while those with the least positive outlook are Portugal, Spain and France.

The study, in conjunction with The Centre of Future Studies, highlights the extent to which countries promote entrepreneurialism by making it easy for expats to do business, the business climate in the country in which they are working and the prospects for their business in the next three years.

A further 74% believe access to cheaper resources is a real advantage and for 65% it is the tax incentives that are the big draw. When it comes to disadvantages, over seven in ten, 71%, believe foreign regulations and standards are a hindrance.

‘Setting up your own business can be difficult and you would imagine doing so abroad would be a task for the brave. A new breed of entrepreneurs is emerging and it is encouraging to see that these pioneers are thriving in foreign climes,’ said Dave Isley, head of NatWest International Personal Banking.

‘It is interesting the see that Singapore, Hong Kong and the USA are fruitful entrepreneurial countries according to the index yet China and UAE rank so low. Given the current economical climate, it is no surprise that expat entrepreneurs in Portugal, Spain and France do not feel they have a positive business outlook,’ he added.

Despite the adverse impacts of the global recession, the expat entrepreneurs have a relatively positive view of the current business climate in which they are working. When looking at countries with sunny business climates despite the impacts of recession, China, Hong Kong and Singapore emerged in the most positive light; Spain, Portugal and France in the least positive light.

When thinking about their business in the next three years – 22% of expats entrepreneurs consider the prospects for their business in the next three years to be excellent or very good and over half (55.8%) rate their prospects as good. Respondents from Canada, Hong Kong and the USA are the most positive while those from Spain and Portugal are the most negative.

The study rated expats’ lives abroad based on assessments of lifestyle indicators such as availability of consumer goods, entertainment, food, law enforcement, public transport, sanitation, housing, public services, leisure and culture, schools and education, financial confidence, healthcare provision, retirement facilities, weather, financial factors and the natural environment.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bill Collings October 4, 2011 at 7:22 pm

These stats seem a bit off to me or possibly only based on the last 3 years during the world economic crisis years as both Spain and Portugal experienced incredible growth when looking at the stats from 20+ years ago to now. Of course if you cut up that period and apply only the stats from the last 3 to 5 years it looks recessionary which of course it is. Another thing this article or "content" smells of is biased one sided private interests favoring the western "democracies" almost like a FOX NEWS broadcast trying to draw investments and foreign investments to the States, Hong Kong or Singapore. Whatever type of entrepreneur this content is directed at I can tell you one thing it is NOT AIMED at REALLY SMALL BUSINESS VENTURES as the greatest majority such Expat business people. This articale might apply to 5 out of a hundred or the top 5% of the Expat community so virtually WORTHLESS to most of us


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