International ambition makes sense post-covid, but make sure you are fully prepared to meet the challenges ahead
By Rhys Madoc, CEO, UHY International
Albert Einstein’s assertion that “in the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity” is perhaps a crumb of comfort in the harsh Covid-era commercial landscape. Business is suffering through the crisis, but vaccines and better treatments have brought hope that the worst might soon be over. Companies have started looking to the future, at opportunities to build back better, and many organisations are now eyeing international markets as part of their post-Covid plans.
spread the risk, take the opportunities
Covid has revealed the risk of depending on a single national market. Countries have been impacted to different degrees, depending on factors such as population density, mobility, healthcare systems and the effectiveness of government action. Yet international businesses have been able to keep trading in one country and even on one continent, while operations elsewhere were suspended for extended periods.
And the continued benefits of international expansion still apply. Manufacturing or selling products and services across borders opens up new markets, creates economies of scale and diversifies risk. E-commerce has made accessing global customers easier than ever, offering what can appear a world of almost limitless opportunity for expansionist businesses. Building operations in new jurisdictions is a post-Covid strategy that can make a lot of sense.
Fortune favours the well informed
Overseas expansion will always be a calculated risk, but it is a risk stacked in favour of companies who are properly prepared. For all its potential, moving into new markets is not a quick fix. It takes investment, planning, time, and on the ground expertise. If you do not want to run up against hurdles from the very start, make preparations early and ask advice.
trading and complying
The challenges of simply buying and selling in another country – from unfamiliar tax regimes to the deal-clinching details of foreign business etiquette – are easy to underestimate. Even the localisation of web content or sales materials can be a complex task, and there are many questions that you must have answers to, such as how well your products and services are known, what is required to secure effective distribution, and how sales cycles differ from those you are used to. You need to understand how reliable the communications infrastructure is, including transport links and broadband services.
Most importantly, you must access, understand and comply with local laws and business regulations. The challenges of local production are greater still, and establishing a way forward to acquire, for example, the workforce you need, means local knowledge is paramount.
Ask the experts
In all these areas, and more, advice from a knowledgeable and trusted third party is invaluable. UHY is a global network of accountancy and consultancy firms operating in over 100 countries with offices in nearly 330 of the world’s major business centres. When you contract the services of a UHY member firm, you not only get all the local knowledge you need, but also access to the collective knowledge of commercial specialists from around the world. This means whatever your challenges, our member firms will have solutions.
35 years ago the UHY network was founded to help businesses take advantage of new opportunities overseas. Ever since, our member firms have been working closely together to make sure clients enjoy long term cross-border success.
think global, plan local
Early local input to your strategic and operational plans can make a real difference. Market research, an identification of customers, competitors and sales channels, and a thorough risk and opportunity analysis will ensure your first approach is sound. Exploiting foreign markets takes time, focus and investment. We believe you should leave nothing to chance.
They can coordinate with government bodies on your behalf to ensure compliance with the full range of local registration and filing requirements. And when your overseas operation is up and running, our offices can help you meet local accounting and auditing requirements, accurately and on time.
The significant complexity of multiple tax regimes can quickly become a barrier to overseas ambitions. Crucially, UHY tax experts will ensure you are paying the tax you need to pay, and never more than that. Issues of transparency, country-by-country reporting, profit repatriation, foreign tax credit systems or internal trading compliance and transfer pricing should only be handled by specialists with the required local expertise.
In the early stages of setting up an international operation, relocating senior staff to the new location creates challenges not just with income tax, but also with interpretation of different labour laws, definitions of citizenship and the rights and responsibilities of residents and non-residents. UHY member firms are well versed in the intricacies of human resource management and a comprehensive range of expatriate and mobility services includes international payroll, personal tax, advice on remuneration and benefits based on local circumstances, and social security implications.
UHY is a global network with a global vision: to become the first choice trusted advisor for our clients and future clients all over the world. We are the network for doing business locally, nationally, regionally and internationally. Helping businesses find new revenue streams and customers in another country, or on another continent, is one of the most important roles we play. If you are looking to expand overseas, you can rely on a network with global ambition at its core.
Check out these publications, and more, on our website:
UHY Global magazine – our twice-yearly business magazine on hot topics around the world
UHY Global Directory – detailing every office in every country, with full contact details
UHY Doing Business In… country guides – a great place to start your international journey
UHY Capability Statement – featuring case studies from our clients’ point of view
Why UHY? – a quick guide to the benefits of choosing UHY as your trusted advisor
Construction image by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Co-workers with laptops image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Banks around the world have increased lending by 10% since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to help businesses survive, reveals a new study by UHY, the international accounting and consultancy network*.
UHY’s study of 24 major economies shows banks increased overall lending to businesses by an additional USD3.3trillion in the last twelve months alone, as governments flood lending markets with money to help businesses through pandemic disruption.
Outstanding lending to businesses across the ten biggest global economies hit a total of USD32.7trillion last year, an increase of USD3.1trillion (10.5%), compared to USD29.6trillion of outstanding loans a year earlier.
Chinese businesses have experienced the largest increase in value of bank lending out of the world’s leading economies. In China alone, outstanding loans to businesses increased by USD1.8trillion (11%), reaching a total of USD16.04trillion last year, up from USD 14.27trillion the year before. The People’s Bank of China established its small business loans programme in February, offering low-cost funds to commercial banks to lend to businesses.
UHY’s study found that as well as China, other BRIC countries also experienced a particularly large increase in bank lending in the last year – a 12% increase on average. Brazilian banks increased their business lending by 18% (USD46.3billion), topping the table in UHY’s study with the largest percentage increase in lending.
BRIC countries outpaced the G7 (9% growth in lending on average), as countries such as Canada saw a decrease in total lending to businesses through the pandemic (-0.3%). G7 countries added an extra USD1.2trillion to outstanding loans, reaching a total of USD15trillion last year.
The eight major EU economies in UHY’s study are lagging behind other world economies in increasing lending, adding only 5% to outstanding bank lending last year. Outstanding lending stood at USD4.9trillion last year, up from USD4.7trillion in the previous twelve months. Countries including Poland (-3%) and Ireland (-7%) have seen a decrease in the value of outstanding bank credit to businesses compared to pre-Covid.
Growth in bank lending has been largely driven by Government-backed Covid loan schemes.
The UK’s Covid loan schemes, including Coronavirus Business Interruption and Bounceback loan schemes have already provided USD95billion to struggling businesses. The Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection programmes in the US have approved over USD719billion in lending to small and large businesses.
In contrast, the Irish government only launched its COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme in September 2020. As a result, unlike the majority of other countries in this study, Ireland saw its total outstanding lending to businesses fall over the Coronavirus period.
UHY member firm UHY Farrelly Dawe White Limited in Ireland adds that some SMEs in Ireland are relatively averse to taking on debt and therefore the levels of lending, even with this new government scheme, are unlikely to grow as quickly as in some other countries.
UHY says some countries in this study may not have gone far enough to provide Government backed support to businesses. Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia and Vietnam have stimulated lending but have not gone as far as some other countries in implementing a Government-backed, guaranteed coronavirus loans package for businesses to access.
This lack of a Government guarantee on lending is likely to have constrained commercial banks’ approach to emergency Covid-driven lending. These banks were forced to underwrite loans far more conservatively and slowly as they were taking the full risk of defaults, unlike banks in countries like the UK and US for example.
Whilst these countries have developed other measures, including payment deferrals and tax holidays, a lack of Government guaranteed cash support for businesses affected by Covid-19 could result in higher levels of insolvencies and job losses.
Dennis Petri, Chair of UHY International, says: “Governments worldwide have clearly learnt lessons from the credit crunch and global financial crisis of 2008 and moved phenomenally quickly to roll out large-scale lending packages. These have served as a lifeline for many businesses.”
“The past year has seen some of the biggest spending ever by Governments across the globe. That intervention has allowed commercial banks to get lending into the market at an unprecedented rate to prevent a catastrophic loss of jobs and an even greater economic crisis.”
“The economic impact of the pandemic has lasted longer than anyone expected, with even the strongest economies facing a long uphill journey. As the hopes of a quick recovery fade, Government-backed business loan schemes will need to be extended until restrictions are lifted.”
“The news of a vaccine provides a light of the end of the tunnel. But with many businesses still not able to return to ‘normal’ operating levels, Governments need to provide as much support as possible to ensure businesses stay afloat until then.”
Banks have increased lending to businesses by 10%, adding USD3.3trillion to total outstanding loans in the last twelve months
*Current figures are outstanding loans to businesses at last available date
Notes for Editors
UHY global press contact: Leigh Lyons on +44 20 7767 2624
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – www.uhy.com
Nick Mattison or Richard Crossan
Mattison Public Relations
+44 20 7645 3631
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New member firm in St Lucia joins the UHY network
Global accountancy network UHY extends its coverage within the Americas by appointing A. P. Walcott & Associates in St Lucia, Eastern Caribbean. The firm is in the process of adopting the UHY branding.
A. P. Walcott & Associates provides a wide range of services to private and corporate clients including audit, tax and finance and business advisory. Client sectors represented include Financial Services, Hospitality, Healthcare, Not-for-profit, Property Development and Construction, Retail and Public Sector and Statutory Corporations.
Managing partner of A. P. Walcott & Associates, Anthony Walcott, who brings over 20 years public accounting practice experience, comments “Being part of the UHY global network underpins our commitment to deliver quality services. The global presence of the network and the expertise and knowledge shared among UHY’s 8,500 colleagues around the world strengthens our own market position, locally and internationally and will be of great value to our clients and their operations.”
Dennis Petri, chairman of UHY comments: “We are delighted to welcome A.P. Walcott & Associates to the UHY network. Their capabilities extend our footprint in the Americas region where we have members in 22 countries. St Lucia attracts foreign business and investment, and the firm’s market expertise and client service abilities will further strengthen UHY’s capabilities to support clients’ needs in this region.”
UHY liaison office A. P. Walcott & Associates
New member firm in South Korea joins the UHY network
We welcome Daeyoung Accounting Corp., our new member firm in South Korea, to the global accountancy network UHY, strengthening our representation in the Asia Pacific region. The firm is in the process of adopting the UHY branding and will soon be known as UHY Daeyoung Accounting Corp.
Daeyoung Accounting Corp. was established in 2010 and has over 60 professional staff, including 25 CPAs, primarily handling accounting and tax services, particularly for foreign clients doing business in Korea. Industries represented by clients include Packaging, Automotive manufacturing and Real Estate.
The firm offers services in fluent English and provides a wide range of commercial services, including business set up, statutory audit/review, book keeping, tax management and M&A support. A number of the firm’s professionals were formerly with Big 4 firms as auditors, tax specialists and finance/accounting consultants.
Managing partner of Daeyoung Accounting Corp., San Kyu (Sam) Shin comments “Being part of the UHY global network will be of great value to our current and potential clients. The global presence of the network combined with the expertise and knowledge shared among UHY’s 8,500 colleagues around the world strengthens our own market position, locally and internationally.”
Dennis Petri, chairman of UHY comments: “We are delighted to welcome Daeyoung Accounting Corp. to the UHY network. Their capabilities strengthen our presence in the Asia Pacific region where we have members in 20 countries. South Korea has developed into one of the world’s major economies. Manufacturing accounts for a significant segment and the country exports a range of goods including vehicles, chemicals, and integrated circuits (microchips). We believe the firm’s knowledge and expertise should present a very good fit for our network”.
UHY liaison office Daeyoung Accounting Corp.