Business confidence in Bangladesh higher than global average

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Nov 12,2019


Business confidence in Bangladesh is significantly higher than the global and Asian averages as nearly all local firms surveyed have an optimistic outlook about growth, according to a new global report of the HSBC.

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in its report titled ‘Navigator: Now, next and how’ revealed that 97 per cent of 193 Bangladeshi businesses were bullish on growth in the next year, compared to the global average of 79 per cent and the Asian average of 77 per cent.

Moreover, 50 per cent of Bangladeshi businesses are expecting growth of 15 per cent or more, about twice the rate of expected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of the country.

Around 77 per cent of Bangladeshi companies think a favourable political climate is a key driver for growth, said the survey.

The bank conducted the survey on 9,131 companies globally to capture business sentiment on investment priorities, decision-making drivers, and plans to implement change and growth expectations.

According to the report, business confidence in Bangladesh is also on the rise as 74 per cent of businesses are more optimistic about their prospects than a year ago, compared to the Asian average of 43 per cent.

Commenting on the survey findings, HSBC Bangladesh chief executive officer Francois de Maricourt said  that Bangladesh was at the heart of Asia’s emerging growth.

So it was only fitting that its businesses were among the most bullish globally, he said.

Bolstered by fast-growing industries, nine in 10 Bangladeshi businesses believe international trade is a force for good that will drive innovation (94 per cent) and improve efficiency (92 per cent), the report said.

Asia remains the main arena where Bangladeshi firms trade, with more than four in five (83 per cent) Bangladeshi companies citing its importance. The largest trading partners for local firms are mainland China (43 per cent), Japan (36 per cent) and India (27 per cent).

China is still the largest single trading partner although the number of Bangladeshi companies trading with the country has dropped to 43 per cent from 50 per cent.

Japan has more than tripled in importance in the past 12 months to 36 per cent, up from 11 per cent in 2018, replacing Malaysia to become the second most important trade partner in the Asia Pacific region, the report said.

Meanwhile, trade with most major European economies such as Germany, France and Italy has fallen by more than 50 per cent in the past 12 months.

The slack has been picked up by the US, which has doubled in importance to 16 per cent over the same period, it said.

Around 98 per cent of participants in face-to-face personal interviews with the survey team were also optimistic about their business growth in next five years.

Businesses also believe that 5G and data security are the two technologies that will have the greatest impact on businesses in the next five years.

Around 56 per cent participants anticipate benefits from 5G while 46 per cent believe there will be positive outcome from development in data security technology, according to the report.

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