International goals of medium-sized businesses are more ambitious as a result of challenging economic conditions in the UK.
Over 80% of UK mid-cap firms said they were optimistic about overseas expansion, although many felt forced to pursue this avenue because of the economy at home.
The Global Ambitions Report carried out by business advisory firm BDO found that 78% of companies expected to increase revenue through overseas investments.
However, while 65% did not think trading was any more difficult that it was three years ago, 56% thought tough trading conditions in the UK meant they had to investigate international markets.
Six out of ten businesses surprisingly reported that issues in the Eurozone made little or no difference to their business, while only 8% thought it had a significant impact.
Indications show that firms have more confidence in markets in Brazil, Russia, India in China, rather than in Europe, as 45% plan to invest in these countries. while 27% intend to invest in the U.S, 21% in Germany and 15% in France.
UK finance officers indicated that Greece and Spain were thought to be risky, while Pakistan, Egypt and Kazakhstan were safer bets.
Kim Hayward, International Advisory Partner, BDO LLP commented: “Disappointingly, UK mid-caps find themselves in a challenging situation.
“Crucially, those investing abroad for the first time seem to lack the confidence and knowledge they need to operate overseas.
“But this push and pull dynamic needn’t be a negative force. To turn the challenge into an opportunity and mitigate the risks of expansion, British businesses, and SMEs in particular, for whom the gamble is proportionally bigger, need to seek advice at home and both advice and support on-the-ground abroad about how to expand successfully.”
Ms Hayward concluded: “With domestic businesses increasingly placing their bets for growth abroad, it’s reassuring to see that international firms are still backing Britain as a safe bet.
“As the UK holds its place as a safe haven for investment, the present risk-averse stance selected by foreign CFOs can only mean good news for the British economy.”
The UK remains one of the top ten investment “hotspots” and 45% of finance officers abroad have investment plans within the country.