Hong Kong is the fourth most desirable economy in the world - and the second in Asia - for business expansion, according to a new survey from BT Global Services.

The survey of 1150 business decision makers in 13 regions also shows that China is the world's third most desirable country for companies looking to expand overseas.

Business decision makers believe that Hong Kong has the most desirable tax and governance regime in the world, and this is considered the most compelling reason to expand into the region. The affluence of its population and potential customer base add to the draw.

By contrast, China's massive population is the main draw for that market, with 44% of those surveyed naming it as an appealing element.

The growing affluence of its citizens and the IT skills of the Chinese workforce are also important considerations.

An overwhelming 80% of survey participants believe that international expansion is vital for the success of their organization, with 75% naming growth opportunities as the main reason prompting them to look to expand overseas.

Technology factors that businesses look for when expanding into other countries include the quality of IT infrastructure and services, the quality of digital and communications infrastructure and the IT skills of the workforce.

"Those countries rated as highly desirable places to expand into not only have economic potential but the right blend of business culture underpinned by an extensive digital infrastructure, skills and sound regulation," BT Global Services president for Asia, Middle East and Africa Kevin Taylor said.

Among the Hong Kong business leaders surveyed, a plurality of 37% cited personnel within their organization as a barrier to overseas expansions. Globally in comparison, the most common barrier was a lack of technologies needed to fulfill their international ambitions.