By Daniel Hunter
By 2026 the UK is set to increase its international business activity by 66%, which is an increase on the previous quarter estimates and positive news for the overall long term economic outlook.
The latest Global Connections trade forecast from HSBC Commercial Banking predicts that ‘emerging markets’ will experience a tipping point in the balance of trade power, where imports will grow faster than exports within the next five years.
Indeed, this pattern is being highlighted in Brazil, China and India, where the trend is set to continue to 2026. For the UK, exports are expected to exceed imports as businesses make the most of the opportunities created by the subsequent increase in demand for goods and services from emerging markets.
HSBC’s latest Trade Confidence Index also supports this prediction with 93% of UK businesses interviewed feeling positive about the outlook for international trade volumes over the next 6 months. Trader confidence is at 105 on trade confidence index overall. This shows a slight improvement from 2011.
“Taking advantage of overseas opportunities can offer businesses significant prospects for growth," Steve Box, HSBC Head of Trade and Receivables Finance, Europe commented.
"We are seeing an increasing number of our customers looking to trade outside of the UK’s traditional trade partners in Europe, this is reflected in the emerging trade corridors highlighted in this report.
"UK trade is predicted to grow faster than previously suggested and certain sectors are likely to thrive with increased overseas demand, particularly from a skills and specialism perspective. As a truly international bank, HSBC is ideally placed to support businesses that are looking to take advantage of global trade opportunities.
"Through our £4 billion International SME fund we will continue to support UK SME’s trading or aspiring to trade internationally and our ambition is to finance more forward thinking businesses than ever before.”
The data also reveals that growth is likely to be greatest in sectors which correlate closely with economic development. Automotives, Non-Crude Oil, Medicines and Printing are the sectors which the research predicts will dominate world trade over the next 15 years with emerging countries leading the growth.
- Brazil is expected to see car imports rise more than 13% over the next five years, with exports up 4.9% by 2016
- Chinese imports of cars are expected to rise by nearly 12% by 2016
- Asian and Latin American imports of Medicines are expected to rise by 7% and Latin American imports of Biopharmaceuticals by more than 11% to 2016
- UK’s fastest growing export sectors are Biopharma, Auto Engines, Petroleum Gases and Telephony equipment. This meets the demand from the emerging markets.
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