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British CFOs 'looking to emergent markets'


The gloomy economic news in the UK and the US has been counterbalanced to some degree by the positive statistics coming out of emerging markets such as China and Brazil, with analysts predicting these will make up for the slump seen in more developed countries.

This has been reflected by a global poll of 519 senior finance executives carried out by American Express, which suggested that British businesses are planning to link up with overseas markets in a bid to drive growth in their own trade.

While 41 per cent are still focusing on more traditional areas, 17 per cent are planning to look to China, Brazil and especially India as they attempt to improve their fortunes, reports Accountancy Age.

Brendan Walsh, senior vice-president of global corporate payments in Europe at American Express, said it was clear that finance professionals are recognising the huge potential of overseas markets - especially in the ongoing financial slump facing many firms.

"This has led to a willingness to increase investments in business travel in the year ahead. However, in the current economic environment, UK executives reveal a cautious [attitude], meaning that we can expect companies to focus on getting value for money," he added.

Finance functions aim to play a leading role in this development, with 37 per cent suggesting that chief financial officers need to focus on finding new markets in the future and 66 per cent expecting more to be spent on business travel compared to the previous year.

A third of firms plan to increase sales and distribution activity as consumer sales become more important than production and sourcing to the majority of companies.

Deloitte recently published a report suggesting that firms moving into emergent markets need to ensure their offering is tailored specifically for their new customers as one-size-fits-all approaches tend to be unsuccessful in the financial sector.

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