Global built asset consultancy firm EC Harris has ranked Taiwan as the least difficult market in the Asia Pacific region for retail companies to conduct a large-scale expansion programme.
The firm’s ranking list comprised a total of 40 nations in the region.
Taiwan, Japan and Australia received the most favourable rankings, primarily a consequence of their superior business environments.
These environments boast higher allowance of foreign ownership, more business, freedom of labour and trade and lower corruption.
As developed nations, these three countries also received the highest rating for the quality of their infrastructure, such as roads and electricity supply, which are vital for facilitating business.
While international retailers may be tempted by the booming markets of China, India and Indonesia, the EC Harris report put all three of these countries in the bottom half of its ranking list.
The Philippines, Vietnam and India were rated worst among Asian countries due to their difficult business environments and frequently poor infrastructure.
India was ranked last due to its corruption problems, poor freedom of trade and overall difficulty conducting business.
EC Harris’ report emphasised a greater risk and likelihood of reputational damager to a retailer when it came to entering less-established markets with poorer infrastructure and an undeveloped consumer base.
“China, India and Indonesia are more difficult for retailers to expand into than Western markets due to a restricted supply chain and low project delivery capability,” head of Asia property at EC Harris Jonathan Moore told Inside Retail Asia. “This creates far greater risk and potential reputational damage for retailers. But despite these challenges, the number of international retailers expanding into emerging markets continues to grow.”