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Majority of UAE firms planning international expansion

Majority of UAE firms planning international expansion

Around 10.4 per cent of all firms planning global expansion are from the UAE, a new poll showed

The United Arab Emirates has the most number of firms in the world that are planning major international expansion this year, a new survey by Citi Commercial Bank showed.

Of all companies planning global expansion, 10.4 per cent of them are from the UAE while another 8.2 per cent each are from Taiwan and the United States.

Among the companies polled in the UAE, the country ’s wholesale trade firms are most likely to expand internationally.

The most popular markets for the UAE firms’ that are looking to expand are the US, China and Vietnam, the survey said.

“Global confidence is increasing in companies based in emerging Europe and the Middle East for the clients we polled,” said Citi Commercial Bank Middle East’s head Vincent Valladares.

”Companies are increasingly finding more partners in the region than in recent years and it’s encouraging to see that UAE companies rank top of the list globally in international expansion plans.

“We feel this reflects well on the UAE and indicates they see expansion as a means of growing their businesses.”

Regionally, 13 per cent of firms in the Middle East said that they are planning to expand in the next two to three years. Meanwhile 23 per cent of the companies in the region expressed interest in expanding within the region and to the Central Eastern Europe region.

The UAE is also a popular destination for mid-market and small and medium businesses in the Middle East looking to expand in the region, the poll showed.

Although Middle East firms have major expansion plans, only 6 per cent of all firms globally are thinking of expanding to the region.

Lower oil prices and the ongoing geopolitical tensions in Yemen and Syria have taken a toll on the region’s appeal to businesses while forcing local companies to look towards foreign markets for opportunities.

A recent poll conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Institute of Management Accountants revealed that about 43 per cent of companies in the region were looking for opportunities in other markets while 53 per cent said that they were reducing costs during this period.

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