Buffeted by the pandemic and other headwinds, companies in Asia and the Pacific are doubling down on intra-regional trade to grow in the post-Covid world: 71 percent of APAC businesses that participated in the latest HSBC Navigator survey are trading within Asia Pacific, up from 67 percent in 2019.
In the Philippines, the outlook for international trade is promising with Philippine companies showing significantly more confidence than those globally and across Asia Pacific in spite of most of businesses reporting that international trade as becoming more difficult.
Encouragingly though, more Philippines companies think international trade will get easier in 2021, with 92 percenteyeing expansion into other markets over the next three to five years.
“Intra-regional trade already accounts for some 60 percent of Asia’s overall trade, and it’s a figure that will only grow when RCEP comes into effect,” says Graham FitzGerald, President and CEO, HSBC Philippines. “Asian integration will not only strengthen the region’s role in the global trading system but also enable the next round of global economic growth, and this is a very promising outlook for the Philippines” RCEP, or the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, was recently signed by 15 Asia Pacific markets and will create the world’s largest trade bloc, covering around 30 percent of world GDP and population.