Velocity Global’s “2020 State of Global Expansion Report: Technology Industry” found that nearly a quarter (23%) of U.S. and U.K. technology executives identified Asia as their target region for global expansion this year.
Executives agreed that a few Asian countries in particular stood out among their neighbors. Of the top 10 most promising global markets on the report’s Global Expansion Tech Index, Singapore topped the list, while Hong Kong took fifth place, and South Korea was number 15.
In this article, we explore how each of these three popular Asian markets earned its ranking, the determining criteria, and the benefits of doing business in each of these top regions.
The Best Asian Markets for Tech Companies
Asia is the second-most desired region for growing U.S. and U.K. tech firms, placing behind Europe. According to the report’s Global Expansion Tech Index, tech executives ranked each destination based on the following criteria: GDP growth and inward investment (30%), availability of skills (25%), complexity of regulatory landscape (20%), connectivity (15%) and quality of infrastructure (10%).
Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea all ranked in the top 15 markets in the index, which makes them great options for tech firms—or companies in any industry—looking to establish a presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
Singapore: In 2020, Singapore is the top country for global expansion. According to the report, 21% of U.S. and U.K. tech leaders named Singapore as their first choice for accessing top tech talent in Asia.
But it’s not just talent drawing in tech firms. Singapore scored well across the board; the country topped all other destinations in terms of ease of doing business and outperformed all other Asian markets on the index in skills availability and innovation.
Hong Kong: Despite social and political unrest, Hong Kong is the fifth-most desired global city for expanding U.S. and U.K. tech firms. 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, which accounts for 23.8% of its GDP, topping even Singapore.
South Korea: South Korea remains one of the easiest countries for conducting 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 market in Asia, behind only Singapore and Hong Kong, respectively. Of the Asian countries listed in this report, South Korea places third in terms of knowledge availability, making it one of the most promising markets for firms’ tech talent searches. Companies reliant on exporting and importing goods find South Korea’s business-friendly laws and regulations beneficial.
Whether in the tech industry or another sector, Asia offers growing businesses a great opportunity to grow their brand abroad.
If you’d like to learn more about why these destinations outpaced others and how they compare to the rest of the world’s top economies for tech businesses, download a free copy of the report at velocityglobal.com/acg.
Rob Wellner is chief revenue officer for Velocity Global, a leading provider of global employment solutions. Wellner draws on 12 years of experience in capital markets to help organizations expand internationally, including using Velocity Global’s International PEO service. Learn more at VelocityGlobal.com/acg.