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Business leaders bullish on growth prospects despite COVID-19

14 September 2020

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  • North American firms more bullish about growth prospects (73%), compared to businesses in Asia (67%) and EMEA (63%)
  • 35% of businesses say COVID-19 has made them even more determined to expand into new markets

Three out of five business leaders worldwide (61%) predict growth over the next twelve months, according to a new study. Intertrust, a global leader in providing tech-enabled fund and corporate solutions, surveyed 102 business professionals across Europe, the Americas and Asia to identify the impact of COVID-19 on business resilience globally.

Despite COVID-19 and the climate of geopolitical uncertainty, the findings underlined a strong sentiment of business resilience, with the majority of firms remaining optimistic that they will ride out the economic volatility and continue to grow. The study found North American firms to be more bullish about growth prospects (73%), followed by businesses in Asia (67%) and EMEA (63%).
The study also highlighted a dramatic difference in perception depending on the firms’ position in the corporate lifecycle, with 80% of firms looking to scale up through expansion into new markets predicting growth, compared to just 49% of start-ups.

The study from Intertrust also gauged business leaders’ appetite for overseas expansion. Over one in three businesses (35%) said COVID-19 has made them even more determined to expand into new markets, a fifth of which (19%) said they are much more likely to do so. Businesses in Asia said they were over twice as likely to expand into new markets (56%) as firms in Europe.

The study found almost half (47%) of fast-scaling companies that have recently pushed into a new market prior to the Coronavirus pandemic are now more likely to expand again compared to just 28% of start-ups and 38% of mature companies.

Evert Wind, Global Head of Corporate Client Services, said:

Despite the impact of the global pandemic, the study reveals a strong sense of business resilience, with successful firms remaining determined to seek opportunities for growth.  While global economic uncertainty still lingers, the crisis has created opportunities for businesses looking to expand into new markets.

With margins globally under pressure in almost all industries, operational agility is paramount for companies of all sizes and we expect to see businesses exploring ways to reduce risk and optimise their operations going forward.