27 May 2016

Regions of promise?

Current prospects for UK business in two world regions rich in opportunity will be assessed by HSBC Economist Doug Lippoldt during IFB 2016.

International Festival for Business 2016

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The global slowdown may be slowing their growth, but the ten dynamic markets of ASEAN still offer huge promise for UK business.

Meanwhile, on a different continent, the more mature markets of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are already big UK partners - and proposals for further liberalisation may be set to open up fresh channels for trade.

Delegates at IFB 2016 will have the chance to hear HSBC Senior Trade Economist Doug Lippoldt take the economic temperature of both regions, and assess the opportunities and risks presented by each.

Lippoldt will set the scene for a plenary session on the ASEAN markets on Wednesday June 15, part of the HSBC Trade Exchange within IFB.

Formed in December 2015, the ASEAN community aims to create a single market across its 10 member countries, ranging from Indonesia to Brunei. This vast region - with a combined population of some 600 million1, half of them aged under 30 - demands attention from trade-oriented UK businesses.

Tackling the difficult trade issues, like misaligned or unduly burdensome regulation, will take time

HSBC Economist Doug Lippoldt

Like that of Asia in general, ASEAN's growth has stuttered of late. However, Lippoldt foresees substantial trade potential in the region. At a time of slow growth in much of the global economy, ASEAN members like Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam offer dynamic markets, with GDP growth forecast at 4% or more this year and next2.

He will offer insight on the region's top trade sectors and the prospects for growth and consumer spending. He will also examine the potential benefits from the ASEAN trade liberalisation that is now under way.

Liberalisation is also set to transform the picture for trade with the NAFTA countries (the US, Canada and Mexico).

Many leading UK businesses already claim a share of the markets in all three NAFTA countries directly, as well as through partners in the European Union. "Under the existing trade regimes, there are growth prospects between the relatively open economies of the EU and NAFTA," Lippoldt says.

Bilateral accords currently being negotiated or expanded with Mexico and Canada, and the big changes promised by TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) will create fresh opportunities, he believes.

According to one estimate, the benefits of TTIP implementation could include a 6% increase in EU exports3.

"Tackling the difficult trade issues, like misaligned or unduly burdensome regulation, will take time - but could yield important economic benefits for businesses on both sides of the pond," Lippoldt says.

He will be among the speakers at the North American plenary session on Thursday June 16.

1UK ASEAN Business Council
2Focus Economics
3Centre for Economic Policy Research

For further information about trading internationally, visit the HSBC Connections Lounge at the International Festival of Business in Liverpool where an HSBC Trade Specialist will be on hand to answer your questions or call +44 (0)800 78 31 300.

Lines are open from 9am -5pm, Monday to Friday and calls are recorded for security and training purposes.

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