Australia has been ranked as the eighth most attractive destination for business expansion in 2012, according to global accountancy network BDO in its new survey based from responses of 1,050 chief financial officers (CFOs) of medium sized firms around the world.
"Australia punches above its weight in the world: it's not a low-cost destination and it's far away from most countries, but its economic and political stability, along with its consistently strong economy, make it a relatively easy place to do business," Cameron MacMillan, a director at consulting firm BDO, said.
But while Australia moved up the ladder this year by four places from a year ago, its strong dollar currency along with its mixed views on foreign direct investment, could pose a hindrance to further development and economic growth.
"Inhibiting offshore investment in Australia are: a strong local currency and mixed perceptions regarding Australia's attitude to foreign direct investment (such as complicated tax regulations)," the survey found, which was conducted between May and July 2012.
International CFOs particularly lauded Australia's relatively stable political and economic environment, but said the country was not a priority destination for many firms.
Meanwhile, despite its slowing economic growth, China remained on the top spot as the most attractive country for expansion, followed closely by the U.S. Others including Brazil, India, Germany and the U.K. likewise landed in the top 10 of countries ripe for expansion.
"BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries are now regarded as safe, established investment opportunities . . . with nearly half of the CFOs surveyed investing in or planning to invest in these markets compared with only 29 per cent in 2011," the report noted.
Considered the riskiest countries to invest in were Iran, Iraq, Syria and Greece.
"CFOs are becoming increasingly wary of Southern Europe, parts of which they now see as risky as the politically unstable countries of the Middle East," Martin Van Roekel, BDO chief executive, said.
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