Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all from the Horizons team.
While it is virtually impossible to summarize a year like 2020, we thought it would be worthwhile identifying some of the trends and developments in, what has been, a record-breaking year for global expansion:
- Asia-Pacific resilience. No one could deny the achievements of the Asia-Pacific region in this arena: China, Taiwan (PRC), Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand, have all been leaders in containing the pandemic and its economic impact.
- Government support and subsidies. Pandemic and lockdown-related support varied across international locations, but important programs included wage subsidies, loan schemes, deferred tax liabilities, and enhanced creditor protections.
- Distributed workforces. Whether returning to their country of origin or choosing to work abroad, the international distribution of staff brought new operational and compliance challenges for businesses.
- Embedding of remote work tools. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other video-conferencing tools replaced face-to-face interaction as business travel was ruled out.
- Data Protection. 2020 saw energetic regulator enforcement of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): A succession of huge fines were issued against major brands and their subsidiaries including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and H&M.
- Brexit. Enterprises connected to the UK dealt with, and are still dealing with, the ongoing business and compliance issues arising from Brexit.
As Global Expansion partners, it has been our pleasure to support new businesses navigate these developments with expansion solutions, and we look forward to supporting hundreds more in 2021.