Majority of executives planning growth strategy across APAC

By Kate Birch
Most CFOs across Asia Pacific optimistic about success in 2021 with plans to expand operations into other countries and attract remote talent...

A large majority of CFOs worldwide are planning to expand operations into new countries in 2021 to achieve their long-term growth strategies, according to a recent survey by CFO Research and Globalization Partners. 

The February 2021 survey of CFOs, CEOs and other senior finance executives revealed that almost all (94%) of C-suite executives across Asia Pacific have a growth strategy involving expansion into countries where they do not currently operate. 

In fact, ‘implementing a strategy for global expansion and presence’ was deemed a top priority in the next 12-18 months for 52% of APAC executives compared to 38% and 36% of EMEA and North American executives, respectively. 

Asia Pacific most optimistic region globally

And while optimism towards organisation performance in 2021 varies across regions, Asia Pacific CFOs are more optimistic about success in 2021 than their counterparts in the UK and North America with 65% APAC respondents indicating they expect to exceed goals and expectations in 2021, compared to 45% for the UK and 47% for North America. 

So, what’s contributing to such optimism across APAC? Charles Ferguson, General Manager, Asia Pacific at Globalization Partners cites the “ongoing rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, investments flowing into the region, and momentum gained as companies accelerated their digital investments during the pandemic” as contributors to the positive sentiments regionally toward business in 2021. 

“With the ongoing shift in the global supply chain and a renewed focus of the US, UK and EU to grow alliances with APAC markets, there is an abundance of opportunity to expect from this region,” adds Ferguson. 

CFOs taking a global view with hiring approaches

Along with capturing market share through global expansion, APAC CFOs have a high degree of interest in tapping into a more cost-effective, global talent pool. 

While 89% of APAC executives admitting that the pandemic had fundamentally altered how they consider remote employees or the work-from-anywhere model, nearly half (43%) said that when it came to their hiring strategy over the next 12-18 months, they want to attract new talent that is unbounded by the geographic restrictions of their company’s operating model. 

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