May 4, 2006
Trade Among Asian Nations Expected to Explode This Year
Business leaders from small- to mid-sized companies in Asia say they expect trade between Asia countries to outpace even the booming growth in trade between Asian and Western countries in 2006, according to a survey by UPS.
Nearly 70% of survey respondents, who included members of the jewelry and watch industries, said they expected to see enormous growth in intra-Asia trade this year. In comparison, about 50% of respondents expected more growth between Asia and the United States and Asia and Europe. Also, 71% of the 1,200 respondents said they are optimistic about the overall state of the Asian economy and expect to see steady growth in the next year.
However, the survey also highlighted some challenges for small and medium-sized businesses with locations in Asia. Respondents said that they are concerned about innovation, availability of qualified staff and access to funding and working capital, and some in developing markets such as China, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines referred to legal red tape, supply-chain efficiency, access to overseas markets and access to market intelligence and other business information as additional obstacles to their businesses.
One particular strong area was India, where 43% of respondents said they expected India to equal China in economic growth potential in the next three years. A total of 76% of businesspeople in India said they expect trade with the U.S. to grow during the next year.