Monday 21 August 2017

Infrastructure spending surges to boost world trade

 Infrastructure trade is set to triple by 2030, according to HSBC’s latest Trade Forecast, and see a significant rise in its share of global trade. The Forecast outlines how, as countries look to increase their manufacturing capacity and civil infrastructure, demand for overseas goods and equipment will surge.

In a special focus on infrastructure, the report finds that between 2013 and 2030 infrastructure-related trade will grow at an average of 9% annually and see a rise in its share of overall merchandise trade, from 45% of total goods exports in 2013 to 54% by 2030.

International businesses around the world report the same level of confidence in global trade prospects as last year with the HSBC Trade Confidence Index holding steady at 112 points.  The Forecast predicts that world trade will grow at a modest pace to 2015 before accelerating between 2016 and 2020.

Shifting Infrastructure Demand

The report differentiates between goods for infrastructure – the materials needed for infrastructure projects, and investment equipment – the machinery required by businesses to boost production.1 The USA is currently the biggest importer of infrastructure-related goods across these sub-sectors, but the report predicts that by 2020 India will become the lead importer of goods for infrastructure as it invests in building its domestic networks. China is set to become the top importer of investment equipment by 2020 as it boosts manufacturing capacity.

Other rapidly-growing Asian economies will take an increasing share of infrastructure-related imports over time, with Malaysia, Korea and Vietnam moving up the rankings.  Excluding the USA, Mexico is the highest ranking non-Asian importer of infrastructure goods, ahead of Brazil.

Overall the report indicates that trade in investment equipment will increase more rapidly than trade in goods for infrastructure in the years to 2030, in part due to the pivot in China’s economic focus towards consumer led growth and next generation technology.

James Emmett, HSBC’s Global Head of Trade and Receivables Finance, said: “The investment countries are making in infrastructure is phenomenal and provides a huge opportunity for businesses looking to grow and develop.  Rising middle classes across Asia’s rapidly emerging markets will drive significant infrastructure demand in the region.  And as China looks to scale the value chain in terms of the goods it manufactures, there is a strong opportunity for developed economies to supply sophisticated investment equipment to the country’s producers.”

Maximising the Infrastructure Opportunity

China is forecast to increase its dominance of global exports for infrastructure, increasing its share of total global exports of these goods (among the 25 countries in this Forecast) to 34% of goods for infrastructure and 39% of investment equipment by 2030.  Between 2013 and 2030 Brazil makes a significant jump in the rankings from 15th to 10th place in terms of its share of global exports of goods for infrastructure as the role it plays in world trade continues to increase.

Overall Infrastructure Investment

According to the report, even as economies develop and become wealthier, their demand for infrastructure products remains strong.  It outlines how advanced economies like the USA, the UK and Germany will need to continue investing in infrastructure to maintain their competitive advantage in supplying investment goods to the rest of the world.

James Emmett commented: “We expect infrastructure-related goods to increase their share of rising global trade, providing strong opportunities across both developed and emerging economies for exporters and importers of those goods and the merchandise that can be manufactured as a result.”

Asia is forecast to see the most rapid growth in overall merchandise trade in the decade to 2030 led by India, China and Vietnam at an average of more than 10% a year.  Yet advanced European economies – such as the UK, France and Germany – are also forecast to expand their exports of goods at rates of 4-5% a year on average over this period, while average growth in US goods exports will be closer to 6%.

To find out more about the trade opportunities for your business please visit https://globalconnections.hsbc.com/global/en/tools-data to explore our interactive Trade Forecast Tool to explore current and future insights into world trade dynamics. Explore top trade routes, toggle between imports and exports, and compare trade activity between countries.

For a copy of the Global Connections Trade Forecast report and for further information, log onto www.globalconnections.hsbc.com

 

Supporting Tables

 

Largest importers of infrastructure related goods (by type) forecast in 2013 and by 2030:

 

Goods for Infrastructure

Investment Equipment

2013

2030

2013

2030

1. USA 1. India 1. USA 1. China
2. India 2. USA 2. China 2. USA
3. Hong Kong 3. China            3. Hong Kong 3. Hong Kong
4. China 4. Hong Kong 4. Germany 4. India
5. Germany 5. Korea 5. Mexico 5. Malaysia

 

Largest exporters of infrastructure related goods (by type) forecast in 2013 and by 2030:

 

Goods for Infrastructure

Investment Equipment

2013

2030

2013

2030

1. China 1. China 1. China 1. China
2. UAE 2. UAE 2. USA 2. USA
3. USA 3. India 3. Japan 3. Korea
4. Germany 4. USA 4. Germany 4. Japan
5. Korea 5. Korea 5. Hong Kong 5. Hong Kong

 

 

 

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