by Lesley White, Head of Global Commercial Banking International, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Paul Taylor, Head of Sales EMEA, Global Transaction Services, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Corporates looking to expand abroad need a strategic approach before embarking on an international growth path. As well as generating revenue growth, a presence in multiple markets outside their home market enables companies to reduce their country risk by insulating themselves against economic challenges through a diversified base of both local and global clients.
For many US large and mid market corporates EMEA, which is comprised not only of European Union (EU) countries in Western Europe and Central and Eastern European (CEE) but also other non-EU CEE countries and countries in the regions of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and sub-Saharan Africa, is an attractive growth opportunity.
While the Eurozone debt crisis continues to create uncertainty, it is important to remember that Western Europe remains one of the most prosperous and stable trading blocs in the world and most countries in the region continue to recover economically. The other regions that comprise EMEA also offer compelling investment propositions, especially for companies in specific industries or sectors. For example, some countries in CEE have established strong reputations as relatively low cost manufacturing and service locations (compared to Western Europe) and have a highly educated workforce, a transparent legal environment and robust transport and other infrastructure.