More than two thirds of UK businesses have a positive outlook on international trade for the next two years despite an exceptionally challenging year, according to new research from HSBC UK.
The latest HSBC Navigator report, which surveyed more than 10,000 businesses in 39 markets with 1,000 of those in the UK, found that 68% of British businesses remain positive about international trade compared to 63% in France and Germany.
However, trade optimism from UK firms is down 18 percentage points from last year, representing the largest fall in Europe, alongside firms in France. Despite this, more than three out of five (61%) UK businesses say they have no plans to stop or reduce trading with existing trade partners in the next two years.
But, more than half (51%) of UK firms expect international trade to become more difficult in the next year while only 16% feel it will become easier as businesses face into economic headwinds presented by the pandemic and the end of the Brexit transition period.
Ian Tandy MBE, Head of Trade for HSBC UK, said: “It’s encouraging to see that, despite the extremely difficult external environment that we are living through, UK companies have not lost faith in the power of international trade to grow their business.
“There is understandably concern for the months ahead as we continue to tackle the pandemic and, with just one month to go until the end of the transition period, we’d encourage businesses to take time