UAE business confidence is rising as the country prepares for Expo 2020 Dubai, an HSBC survey revealed.
The HSBC survey, ‘Navigator: Now, next and how for business’, found that 83 percent of businesses in the UAE expect sales figures to head north over the next 12 months, with at least 35 percent of respondents looking at 15 percent growth or more.
“The UAE’s significant diversification efforts has meant that the country is increasingly viewed as an innovative hub for trade – benefitting both domestic and international businesses. Vision 2021 combined with Expo’s international reach and connectivity are driving opportunities for export minded companies,” Mike Davis, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC UAE said.
About 92 percent of UAE businesses look positively at prospects for cross-border expansion over the next two-years and have a positive outlook on international trade, seven percentage points higher than last year and ahead of the global average of 81 percent.
More than 50 percent of respondents see the Middle East and North Africa as their primary pick for cross-border growth, with Saudi Arabia and Egypt amongst primary choices.
“It is exciting to see a growing number of businesses proactively assessing how and when to take advantage of new corridors for growth. We expect trade within the Middle East region to maintain steady growth in the long-term, as will trade with a number of Asian markets,” Dan Howlett, Regional Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Middle East, North Africa and Turkey said.
“However it is important to remember that while diversifying revenue streams through cross border expansion is one of the core foundations for future financial resilience, businesses must remain focused on investing in their people, in innovation, improving quality of products and services, as well as practicing tighter cash flow management,” Howlett added.
The potential of international trade to drive business growth remains a focus for companies in the Middle East, despite rising risks of protectionism worldwide, the HSBC report said. About 72 percent of respondents believe there are advantages to be gained, while more than 30 percent said that such policies will help them improve their business competitiveness.
(Reporting by Gerard Aoun, editing by Mily Chakrabarty)
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