News in brief: referendum; Brazil; health tech

UK EU referendum is already impacting businesses

New research from Bank of London and The Middle East (BLME) has reported that the majority of mid-market businesses believe the upcoming EU referendum will negatively impact their export activity.

BLME's annual study into the UK found that the biggest export market for Britain's mid-market firms is the European Union. Some 87% of exporting firms say they do business there. Second on the list is North America (42%), followed by non-EU European countries (40%). There is already evidence that firms are scaling back activity and considering new markets as a result of the uncertainty over Britain's future relationship with Europe.

Head of corporate Banking at BLME Jervis Rhodes said: "The UK mid-market makes a substantial contribution to the economy and exports are a major driver. It's a clear reminder to the Government that openness and transparency will be paramount in order for firms to maintain some confidence in their ability to do business with their European counterparts before and after the vote takes place."

Brazil’s hospitality sector flourishes

Despite the challenges that the Brazilian economy is currently facing, the nation's hospitality market has registered another year of positive results. Year-on-year data from the latest Jones Lang LaSalle's Lodging Industry in Numbers, Brazil 2015 publication reveals that for the tenth year in a row Brazil's urban and condo hotels posted positive RevPAR (Revenue per Available Room) growth of 1.4% for 2014. In terms of hotel supply in 2014, there was also a 3.1% increase in the number of rooms across the country. Alongside this, the rise in branded hotel rooms, of both national and international hotel chains, was even more significant, growing by 7.9% in 2014.

Britons believe the US, Japan and China will be the leaders of health tech

Research from the AXA PPP Health Tech & You State of the Nation survey shows that Britons believe that the US, Japan and China will be the future leaders of health tech design and innovation. Unfortunately, the UK is perceived to be lagging behind.

The State of the Nation report is based upon a YouGov survey of 2,045 adults and 546 14-17 year olds. According to the key findings, 19% of adults believe that the US will design the majority of future health tech design; Japan also came out top at 19%, with the UK at 8%; 41% are under the impression that China will manufacture the majority of health tech, with 5% seeing the UK as the leader of manufacturing health technology.

AXA PPP healthcare marketing director James Freeston said: “The aim of the Health Tech &You initiative is to help encourage and develop innovators, designers and developers to embrace health tech, see its potential and help to make the UK a leading nation in the development of tech for the benefit of people’s health and wellbeing.”