TODAY’S business world is one characterised by change and uncertainty.
The economic picture for many countries in Europe remains difficult and, as a result, businesses from Kirklees could be finding themselves negotiating a difficult path.
We believe now more than ever that it is the businesses looking beyond our shores to grow that are seeing the most success whilst also continuing to drive the UK’s road to recovery.
Our latest Global Connections and Trade Confidence research highlights huge potential opportunities for businesses in our region as UK SMEs are forecast to increase international business activity by 66% over the next 15 years.
In addition to this, the report predicts that demand for imports from emerging markets will grow faster than the level of exports they produce over the next five years.
This will see emerging markets developing into more of a “consumer” market which is fantastic news for businesses that currently export or are looking for opportunities to expand into new markets.
The report also suggests that UK exports are expected to exceed imports as they fulfil the increased demand for goods and services from emerging markets.
This will balance the trade deficit we’ve seen in previous years and hopefully help to trade the economy out of recession.
HSBC’s Trade Confidence Index also highlights that 93% of UK businesses are feeling positive about the outlook for international trade volumes over the next six months, supporting the long term economic outlook.
Confidence is at 105 on the trade confidence index overall, showing an improvement from 2011, despite the current Eurozone fragility.
In Kirklees, we are also seeing an increasing number of our customers looking to do business outside of the UK’s traditional trade partners in Europe, and as UK trade is predicted to grow faster than previously suggested, certain sectors are likely to thrive with increased overseas demand, particularly from a skills and specialism perspective.
So despite times of economic uncertainty and stories highlighting the challenges UK businesses face, it’s promising to see there is real optimism and opportunities for businesses that are willing to explore new markets, and at HSBC we look forward to supporting them.