Revealed: The Advantages of Having a Presence in Multiple Markets
HONG KONG, January 20, 2016 – Business is booming for micro-multinational businesses in the Asia Pacific region (APAC)—according to a new FedEx research study, 63% are currently achieving annual revenue growth, compared to 50% of small- to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) as a whole. The study builds on a previous 2015 study that revealed the greater potential for business growth among SMEs that export goods to overseas markets compared to those that don’t. Taken together, the two studies paint a compelling picture of the business benefits offered by export markets generally, whether businesses simply export goods to those markets or, like the micro-multinationals in the latest study, choose to establish a more direct presence.
Commissioned by FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, the study was conducted by Harris Interactive in September 2015. It examined trends and characteristics among micro-multinationals—a subset of SMEs that either have a presence in multiple markets from the start, or else leverage online business platforms and the increased openness of the global economy to expand into overseas markets.
Another key finding was that APAC micro-multinationals show a marked preference for markets within the region when it comes to choosing external markets to expand into. Other APAC markets make up six of the top eight overseas markets targeted by APAC micro-multinationals, with China topping the list of markets where APAC micro-multinationals have a presence.
“We’ve long believed that businesses don’t need to be big to be global, and this study confirms that small businesses that have established a presence in other markets are seeing this strategy pay off substantially,” said Karen Reddington, president, FedEx Express Asia Pacific. “Asia Pacific micro-multinationals have overwhelmingly chosen to set up in other Asia Pacific markets, strengthening regional interconnectivity and driving growth in the intra-Asia trade corridor, the world’s fastest-growing international trade lane. This will translate into job creation, a more efficient pipeline for goods and services and, ultimately, economic growth across the region.”
The study revealed an even bigger gap in growth rates between micro-multinationals that export goods to overseas markets versus those that don’t: a whopping 58% of exporters are achieving annual revenue growth, compared to just 36% of non-exporters. Unsurprisingly in light of this finding, 59% of APAC micro-multinationals believe that having a presence in multiple markets makes it easier to sell goods cross-border.
As well as accelerated growth opportunities, APAC micro-multinationals believe that their presence in multiple markets provides other advantages unavailable to SMEs operating in a single market. These include access to lower-cost workers (46%); lower overheads (37%); and the availability of different skill sets in the labor market (36%). The study confirms micro-multinationals as a modern phenomenon: 63% say that operating a business in multiple markets is easier today than it would have been even five years ago, while 19% don’t even believe this would have been possible for them back in 2010.
About the research study: Micro-multinationals and Cross-Border Growth
Harris Interactive used a mix of telephone and online interview methodologies to conduct interviews with 595 senior decision-makers in micro-multinational companies, defined as companies with 1-249 employees that are based in more than one country. The research was conducted in 12 global markets across four regions: Asia Pacific (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan); Europe (France, Germany and the United Kingdom); Latin America & Caribbean (Brazil and Colombia); and Middle East, Indian Subcontinent & Africa (India).
About FedEx Express
FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date supported by a money-back guarantee.
About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $49 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 340,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit about.van.fedex.com/newsroom.
 Mettler and Williams, The Rise of the Micro-Multinational, The Lisbon Council 2011
 Boeing, World Air Cargo Forecast 2014-2015, October 2014
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