News in brief: FedEx, China, India

Take a step into the unknown
Take a step into the unknown

SMEs encouraged to export to lesser known locations

SMEs could be taking advantage of a raft of export opportunities available in less familiar locations, according to a survey commissioned by FedEx Express.

The global survey conducted among SMEs from across the world found that businesses in Singapore, Hong Kong and Colombia are the most likely to import goods from other markets, representing strong growth opportunities for UK businesses.

UK Fashion and textile businesses, for example, could look to Hong Kong, where 15% of SMEs in that sector import – a higher rate than any other country. Meanwhile Japanese SMEs are the most likely to import food and drink, Spanish businesses the most likely to import technological equipment and businesses in Taiwan are most likely to import industrial items.

“While it can be tempting to export to a country you are familiar with, the research shows the extent to which opportunities exist all over the world,” says Martin Davidian, managing director, Sales, UK North and Ireland, FedEx Express. “UK SMEs should look to tap into these lands of opportunity in order to achieve fast and sustainable growth.”

In general, the research brings good news for the UK economy with 53% of British SMEs currently exporting – a higher rate than in any other country – with India (52%), Hong Kong (50%) and Spain (47%) just behind.

India is officially the world’s fastest growing economy

India has officially overtaken China as the world’s fastest growing economy, following the release of India’s higher-than-expected year-on-year GDP growth rate of 7.3%.

Ajay Marwaha, director of Sun Global Investments, a London-based wealth management firm specialising in emerging markets investments, claimed that India has remained a ‘bright spot’ despite recent market volatility.

Marwaha explains: “Helped by low oil prices, the Indian government has made significant reforms to bring down the deficit and manage inflation. This, combined with the government’s ambition to make India the world’s preferred destination for investment through the opening up of the bond market, has created optimism around India’s growth trajectory.”

Higher disposable incomes, increased government consumption and a marginal pickup in investments via capital expenditure should contribute to India’s growth rate reaching somewhere around 8% in 2016.