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Why 3M & Grainger Are Looking Overseas for Growth

Why 3M & Grainger Are Looking Overseas for Growth

December 21, 2010

International opportunities may play a significant role in getting companies back on track to growth in 2011, according to a recent survey by professional services company Towers Perrin.

The survey, which compiled responses from more than 700 companies around the world, found that "respondents from every region say Asia is a key source for growth." More than 70 percent of respondents identified Asia Pacific as the region of strongest anticipated growth. By contrast, the second-highest rated region, Latin America, was selected by only 10 percent.

It's not terribly surprising when you look at global economic indicators. The International Monetary Fund, for example, is projecting growth in the Asia Pacific region to outpace the rest of the world.

Companies such as Grainger and 3M have already begun leveraging their global networks to take advantage of international opportunities, acquiring companies in a variety of markets. 3M expects international sales to account for nearly two-thirds of its total sales for 2010, half of those in developing markets such as Asia, India and Latin America. By 2015, developing markets are expected to account for 45 percent of total sales for the diversified manufacturer.

That's not to say that domestic markets won't have any opportunity for growth. Thirty-seven percent of the Towers Perrin respondents in North America are looking to their own backyards to grow in 2011. That growth is expected to come from expanding products and services, entering new markets and pursuing mergers or acquisitions, among others.

Read more from the Towers Perrin survey here

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