Scottish entrepreneurs look to Asia

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America has lost its appeal for Scottish entrepreneurs as more look to Asia to grow their businesses, according to a survey.

Accountants Deloitte found only 7% of new businesses planned to target the US over the next three years - down from 17% last year.

Instead, Western Europe and Asia (excluding China) were the most popular areas for expansion.

However, entrepreneurs said they were cautious about future prospects.

More than 90% of Scottish entrepreneurs said they expected to grow over the next year - slightly fewer than last year's survey.

More than half said growth over the past 12 months had fallen short of expectations.

Jim Boyle, head of entrepreneurial business for Deloitte in Scotland, said economic turmoil across the Eurozone and beyond was tempering natural entrepreneurial optimism.

He added: "At a time when there are still plenty of unpredictable bumps in the road, it's encouraging that the vast majority of entrepreneurs still expect to achieve growth this year.

"However, there's understandably an air of caution due in no small part to the ongoing uncertainty in Europe and the broader issues of access to funding and skills."

Although many young businesses are looking overseas to help expand their companies, more than half think the UK is the best bet for growth.

John Anderson, chief executive of the Entrepreneurial Exchange, said: "It's clear from the results that entrepreneurs have spent the last 12 months focusing on the basics of maintaining successful businesses so they are in a position to take advantage of the growth opportunities on the horizon."

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