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Opinions and views from expert CFOZone members.


May 13
2010

Global trade resurgence may need more financing

Posted by nicklord in trade, IFCHSBCEBRD

nicklord
 

Further evidence is coming out the global business is back, despite the ongoing fiscal and sovereign credit worries. HSBC's latest Trade Confidence Index makes for uplifting reading. The survey began last year as a way of seeing how companies involved in international trade felt about the prospects for their business.

The survey measures confidence among 5,120 exporters in 17 countries. With a base index of 100, overall confidence in trade expansion rose from 110 to 116 over the last quarter. Regionally it was Asia that is the most bullish on its improved outlook. Fifty percent of the exporters from China and 52 percent of those exporters from the Middle East expect their business to improve "significantly" over the next six months. The Vietnamese were the most bullish with 79 percent of exporters from that country expecting a marked upturn in trading.

What is a cause for concern among these traders is that the banks are not in a position to extend them the credit they need to trade. For instance 56 percent of respondents from India and 46 percent of those from Southeast Asia did not feel positive about having access to finance over the next six months. This concern is mirrored by the many agencies, such as the International Finance Corporation and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development,  which through global trade liquidity programs are trying to ease exporters' access to finance.

Other concerns that the exporters reported surround growing protectionism and the possible revaluation of the Chinese currency, the renmimbi.

Nevertheless, the survey is further evidence of a global rebound in business confidence that other surveys have shown in the last five months. It also adds weight to the fact that trade is now growing fastest not in an East-West axis, but rather in a South-South axis: emerging markets are trading more between themselves and less with the West.

"The axis of trade momentum has clearly shifted to the emerging markets, where the rebound in trade, fuelled by intra-regional activity, continues to boost global economic recovery," said Simon Constantinides, head of trade and supply chain for Asia-Pacific ex-Greater China at HSBC.

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