New markets give UK exports long-term boost

Emerging markets will drive up UK exports by two-thirds over the next fourteen years, according to a new bank report.

The UK’s international trade is predicted to increase by 66 per cent by 2026 says HSBC’s latest Global Connections Trade Forecast.

The HSBC report outlines opportunities for UK firms as emerging markets increasingly shift from being exporters to importers of consumer goods. It forecasts that Brazil, China and India will all witness their imports exceeding exports over the next five years. It adds that UK imports will increase modestly until 2016 with four per cent annual growth from then.

And in some areas growth will be higher. Exports to Brazil, China and Saudi Arabia are forecast to grow at annual rates of 6.9 per cent, 5.6 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively.

“Taking advantage of overseas opportunities can offer businesses significant prospects for growth,” said Steve Box, HSBC Head of Trade and Receivables Finance, Europe. “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.

The report predicts the main areas of growth over the next 15 years to be automotives, non-crude oil, medicines and printing. For example, Brazil is expected to see car imports rise by more than 13 per cent over the next 5 years, and the import of cars into China is expected to rise by nearly 12 per cent until 2016. Imports of medicines by Asian and Latin American countries are expected to rise by 7 per cent in the same period.