Top 5 Countries for Global Expansion in 2020

Businesses have many choices when it comes to global expansion destinations—and determining the right market can quickly become overwhelming. Velocity Global’s 2020 State of Global Expansion™ Report: Technology Industry gives tech firms a clear picture of the most promising markets for their global expansion goals.

The report includes the top 10 of the 50 most promising markets for global expansion in 2020, found in the 2020 Global Expansion Tech Index™, which uses the following five criteria to determine the ranking:

  • GDP Growth & Inward Investment (30%)
  • Availability of Skills (25%)
  • Complexity of the Regulatory Landscape (20%)
  • Connectivity (15%)
  • Quality of Infrastructure (10%)

Top Global Expansion Market #5: Hong Kong

Social and political unrest shook Hong Kong for much of 2019, but it remains a top market for U.S. and UK tech executives in 2020. 26% of executives identified Hong Kong as their top choice for accessing premier talent.

Although other Asian markets’ GDPs outperformed Hong Kong’s, some analysts viewed Hong Kong’s protests as a “hyper stress test,” a test on which the country performed well. Hong Kong’s dollar sits close to a three-year high and, at the end of 2019, traded at a six-month high on the Hang Seng index, Hong Kong’s stock market.

Hong Kong barely places behind Singapore regarding regulation and ease of doing business. Still, Hong Kong’s foreign direct investment eclipsed even Singapore’s, at 23.8% of its GDP.

Top Global Expansion Market #4: The United States

Despite the United States' trade dispute with China and political tensions, it remains a top-five market for global expansion. Though still one of the world's most attractive markets, the U.S. fell two spots from the 2019 report, from second to fourth place, and replaced by Denmark.

The U.S. is one of the easiest markets in which to do business and outpaces its North American neighbors in this regard. Firms seeking top talent take advantage of the United States' rich tech talent pool; its robust tech sector offers growing businesses a premier market for qualified talent and innovation.

Top Global Expansion Market #3: Ireland

Although questions remain about how Brexit will impact Ireland’s trade with the UK (its third-largest trade partner), its impressive performance in multiple categories places it third on the Global Expansion Tech Index™. Ireland jumped up three spots since 2019’s report, replacing Hong Kong, and outranking the United States and previous index-topper, the Netherlands.

Since the previous report, Ireland’s GDP and inward investment grew significantly, making it one of the most attractive markets globally, and well ahead of its neighbor, the UK. Tech businesses have peace of mind knowing that Ireland’s high connectivity scores (internet user rate and access to secure servers) help make it one of the most attractive markets for organizations reliant on keeping data safe.

Top Global Expansion Market #2: Denmark

The Scandinavian country beats all other European markets on multiple criteria on the Global Expansion Tech Index™. Denmark climbed two spots since the 2019 report’s release, replacing the United States for the second-most attractive country for growing tech firms.

The Nordic nation remains the easiest European market in which to do business and boasts the second-highest rank in terms of skills availability, making it one of Europe’s most innovative countries. Denmark significantly surpasses all other markets in terms of secure internet server access and user rate, with 97% of its population possessing safe Web connectivity. 

Top Global Expansion Market #1: Singapore

With high scores in virtually all categories, Singapore claims the top spot on the 2020 Global Expansion Tech Index. Singapore climbed four spots from last year to take the #1 spot in 2020. The country knocked Hong Kong off second place, down to fifth.

Singapore topped all other markets in ease of doing business and outperformed all other Asian markets in skills availability and innovation capability—a hotbed of growth potential for tech firms. 21% of U.S. and UK tech executives cite Singapore as their first choice for accessing top tech talent in the region. It is a relatively easy market to expand into due to its exceptionally business-friendly environment, making it a prime location for firms considering expansion into other Asian markets once establishing their presence in-country.

Find the Right International Market—with the Right Partner

Not all markets offer the same global expansion opportunities, benefits, and challenges. Aligning your business with an experienced expansion partner helps you better understand market conditions, cultural nuances, and compliantly break into the country most appropriate for your goals.

Download your free copy of the 2020 Global Expansion Report: Technology Industry to learn more about the benefits of these top markets.

Share via:

Related resources

Tokyo Skytree and nearby skyscrapers in Sumida, Tokyo, Japan

Speed to Market: What Is It + Why Is It Important?

To compete effectively abroad, global companies seeking business expansion must consider their speed
Read this Blog
Skyline of Taipei, Taiwan

Four Asian Tiger Countries: What Is Their Role in Global Expansion?

Asia provides unique opportunities for companies seeking global expansion, and the Four Asian Tiger
Read this Blog
Woman looking at computer with world map graphic in the background

Globalization Benefits and Challenges

Globalization is an established part of the modern world, so most of us do not realize the benefits
Read this Blog