3 MIN READ

Benefits of Expanding Your Business Overseas


Egypt, good as a start-up location for an overseas business? The answer would have to be yes, long term. Short term? That's an open question given the political and economic difficulties facing the country right at this moment. Traditionally, Egypt has been a fertile hunting ground for American entrepreneurs. Egypt has also been a good friend politically, a strong ally of the United States over the years.

Its people, energetic, enthusiastic and welcoming, are the country's greatest asset, no doubt about it. That's why the country will get back on its feet at some point, despite currently lurching from one crisis to the next. Egypt's infrastructure is modern; its banking and financial sector is also sound, not to mention knowledgeable. The major multinationals are all there, HSBC, Barclays, Citibank and others. They've been operating in Egypt for decades. If at some point you're in need of business banking services from HSBC, or from any of the other banks, then you've plenty of choice!

Seriously, Egypt perfectly illustrates how the would-be entrepreneur must always keep up with fast-moving events, not only in the country of interest, but also in the wider region where geopolitical and economic challenges may unexpectedly impact business plans.

Events since the beginning of the Arab Spring and the consequent Egyptian revolution of January 2011 underline the need to keep checking with government agencies, such as the US State Department, which regularly issues travel warnings for US citizens intending to travel overseas. But, from a business perspective, other organisations are also there to give specific economic intelligence and advice, an excellent example being Export.gov. In fact, no matter where you intend to start up or to expand a business, Export.gov should be your first port of call.

Go check out their website and you'll see it's full of the latest information on just about every country, with more than enough to help you make some early investment decisions. If you need something more specific than simply contact them via email or telephone. There's a full page of contact details available.

So, what exactly are the benefits of expanding your business overseas? There are lots of good reasons for doing so but the bottom line is profitability. Yes, not a dirty word, even in today's politically correct times. Otherwise, why would you bother going into business in the first place, whether at home or abroad?

Having said that, much of course will depend on the type of business you're running. Import export is a good example and location may very well play an important part here in terms of access to target markets. Setting up in Egypt will certainly give you that with Asia on the one side and Europe on the other. So it's a good choice.

But it's not purely about access to markets, important though that may be. Other considerations may come into play including cheap labour costs, with the ability to hire and fire as and when; a benign regulatory environment; minimal corporate and personal taxation; repatriation of profits; low cost of utilities such as electricity and gas; and cheap warehousing and office buildings, with the option of bespoke units if required. All of these benefits, and more, are available within the free zones of the United Arab Emirates. Now there's a location well worth checking out. Find out more on the Export.gov website by clicking here.


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