We have insight from 23 markets around the world – here are some of the global findings from over 6,000 businesses like yours. Can you relate? Join in the conversation at #HSBCNavigator . For knowledge about what is happening in your market or that of your competitors, suppliers or buyers – have a look at the range of reports we have here.
Protectionism on the rise – impacts business operational costs and availability of skills
- 61% of firms globally think governments are becoming protective of their domestic economies.
- This sentiment is strongest among companies in MENA (70%), and Asia-Pacific (68%).
- In the USA, 61% have seen an increase in protectionism, while in Europe, less than half are seeing a rise in protectionist tendencies.
- As a result, two in five firms (40%) globally report an increase in the costs of doing international business. A shortage in the availability of skills and labour (28%), and the need to establish joint ventures or local subsidiaries (28%) are the next largest impacts identified by companies.
Firms have bullish outlook for short-term growth and cross-border business
- 77% businesses are optimistic about their international business prospects, and expect the volume of trade to increase over the next 12 months.
- Companies in Asia-Pacific have the most positive outlook (82%).
- Reasons behind this confidence include an increase in demand for their products from consumers and businesses (33%), favourable economic conditions (31%) and the greater use of technology (22%).
- 61% of companies globally are also positive about the specific growth outlook for their trade in services. Emerging economies are significantly more optimistic (69%) than developed markets (53%).
Increased regional trade emerges as key business strategy to overcome uncertainty over global trade policy
- 74% of cross-border trade in Europe and Asia-Pacific is being conducted in the region.
- This trend is set to continue with regional ties being prioritised in firms’ expansion plans for the next three to five years.
- Regional initiatives such as China’s BRI (40%) and ASEAN’s 2025 strategy (37%) were cited most frequently as having a positive impact on international business.
- 28% of firms say they are looking at establishing joint ventures or local subsidiaries to overcome protectionism.