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NEWS UPDATES 16 July 2010

Optimism growing among Singapore traders

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Singapore traders are quite optimistic about their trade prospects

with Southeast Asia as well as Greater China in the next six months, according to the latest HSBC Trade Confidence Index, as reported by Channel News Asia.

Thirty-six percent of Singapore traders say that South-East Asia will provide the biggest growth opportunities in the next six months, while 30 percent are optimistic about future trade with Greater China: Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan and Macau.

The survey also showed that traders in Singapore are bullish about future demand, with 87 percent of respondents expecting trade volumes to remain at the same levels or increase in the next six months. Across the world, the majority of traders in Latin America (in percents) (64), Middle East (63), Greater China (63) and India (61) expect an increase in trade volumes in the next six months.

Notwithstanding the positive outlook, volatility in foreign exchange rates remained a potential barrier to growth to Singapore traders.

Almost half of the respondents (46 percent) were bearish about the impact of exchange rates on their business in the next six months. Globally, volatile exchange conditions were also cited as a top concern amongst traders in both developed and emerging economies.

The third wave of the HSBC Trade Confidence Index was carried out over March and April of this year. The biannual survey now covers a total of 17 markets and includes key economies in the Asia Pacific region, the Middle East, Latin America, North America and Europe.

In the biggest opinion survey of its kind, more than 5,000 trade-oriented small and mid-market enterprises were asked for their six-month outlook on: trade volume, buyer and supplier risks; the need for trade finance; access to trade finance; and the impact of foreign exchange on their businesses.

Khuresh Faizullabhoy, HSBC’s Head of Trade and Supply Chain in Singapore, said: “The sustained strengthening of confidence among respondents over the past months, despite slow economic progress in the West, is proof of the significance of trade and the role trade is playing in our economic recovery. 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 economic recovery.”

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