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Allen & Overy publishes 'Opportunities & challenges' report


21 September 2011

The shift in the economic balance of power from the West to the East over recent decades is a clear trend that is focusing the minds of investors, business people and politicians across the globe.  

Allen & Overy has conducted in-depth research among 1,000 business leaders from large international companies across 19 countries. The Opportunities and challenges report is the first in the 50 Degrees East series looking at how Asia's rapid growth and development is expected to influence business decision making in the future.

To view a copy of the full report or to find out more about the research methodology, please visit

Key findings include:

  • Global business leaders confident about future business prospects despite uncertainty in developed markets which could reduce import demand from Asia. With 53% very confident and 43% reasonably confident,  they see potential upside beyond the short-term market turmoil
  • The eurozone debt crisis is the greatest threat to economic recovery over the next 12 months. One-third (33%) of interviewees say this is their major concern, compared to 19% who fear an Asian slowdown, 13% who cite political instability, and 12% worried about inflation
  • Asia is undoubtedly the rising economic powerhouse. Three-quarters of business leaders interviewed agree that Asia's economic influence is rising, easily surpassing all other major regions. Just 2% say its influence is declining. This contrasts sharply with Europe, which more than one in five business leaders believe is in decline
  • There has been a 47% increase in the average number of markets each country in the European Union was investing in between 2005 and 2010. Global business leaders identify 100 markets offering growth in next 2-3 years
  • China is the number one growth market for businesses. It is cited by 45% of interviewees as one of the three markets with the best growth opportunities for their business. India is second with 34%, then the US on 23% and Brazil on 14%. Market size and growing consumer prosperity are the main reasons for high expectations in these markets
  • China is perceived as the hardest market to enter, but surprisingly it only just beats the US and Russia. In all three countries the regulatory environment is the main barrier to entry
  • There are contrasting views between businesses in developed and developing countries on market access. Respondents from the BRICs singled out the United States (31%) and Germany as the toughest markets for them to enter. Whereas European business leaders picked China (33%) and India (20%) as the most difficult
  • Business leaders in Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRIC countries) are optimistic about growth opportunities in Asia Pacific but also far more likely to look to Africa than their global counterparts
  • Given the choice of changing the foreign ownership laws of any country, China is the priority, chosen by 22% globally

To view a copy of the full report or to find out more about the research methodology, please visit


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