Executive summary

This second edition of borderless business illustrates how international growth strategies, priorities and challenges experienced by MNCs headquartered in UK, US, Germany and France are evolving as they move beyond the eye of the COVID-19 storm and start to look ahead. Six months since the first report was produced, we provide early insights into changing strategic and operational trends across the international business community, but also the nuances across organisations with different cultures and geographic roots.

of companies saw their best growth opportunities outside their home market

This is particularly apparent amongst US respondents, where this figure has risen from

Asia continues to be a major growth region, with over

of companies conducting or considering a wide range of activities there, particularly those headquartered in UK.

Africa and Middle East are becoming more important. 36% placed Middle East, and 20% Africa, in their top three, an increase of 4% in only 6 months.

US and UK companies are most likely to target these regions.

overall, and 41% of US companies, indicated that understanding regulations in international markets remains their no.1 challenge.

of CFOs raised this issue as a particular concern.

Collection of delayed receivables has inched ahead of concerns about lower revenues, reflecting the growing importance of working capital management.

of respondents are focused on unlocking trapped cash, a 5% increase in 6 months.

Immediate concerns around sourcing funding and managing liquidity and managing FX risk are starting to ease.

German companies prioritising these issues fell from 20% to 12% and 20% to 10% respectively, with similar findings amongst French companies.

The need to diversify suppliers has become a less immediate immediate priority. Previously 26% raised this issue as their top trade and supply chain priority in this study, compared with 32% six months ago.

of companies are prioritising digitisation for supply chain efficiency

of CFOs and treasurers now place ESG in their top three priorities as they support their firms’ international expansion plans, an increase of 5% since mid-2020.

Next: Business confidence extending across borders