Asia-Pacific divided on export expectations

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EXPORT expectations across 36 Asia-Pacific economies remain divided between some expecting exports to grow and projecting radically reduced prospects.

According to the latest quarterly global business survey that P&A Grant Thornton, a leading professional service firm, has compiled, the Asia-Pacific region as a whole is expecting an increase in export activity over the next 12 months, though some have radically reduced expectations due to concerns over currency volatility and uncertainty prevailing over world trade.

The survey conducted before the UK voted to leave the European Union covered 2,500 businesses in 36 economies in the region. It found overall business optimism increased across Asia Pacific in Q2 rising from 21 percent to 28 percent. The Philippines, in particular, has the highest business optimism at 94 percent, increasing by 38 points.

It also found that in Q2 2016, 15 percent of businesses across the Asia Pacific region expect exports to increase over the coming year, up from 8 percent in Q1.


“Several countries, including the Philippines, have seen an increase in business outlook for exports. From 18 percent, the Philippines rose to 20 percent. Thailand, on the other hand increased 10 points (6 percent to 16 percent) while Japan gained 11 points (1 percent to 12 percent),” it said.

At the same time, the business outlook for exports in Australia dropped 11 point (39 percent to 28 percent); in Singapore down 12 points (6 percent to –6 percent); New Zealand down to 22 percent from 40 percent; and, Malaysia plummeted to 6 percent from 36 percent.

“As the world becomes more interconnected, exports become an important source of growth for large parts of the Asia Pacific business community. This is why it is good to note that despite a global backdrop of economic, social and political uncertainty, for large parts of the community, plans to export more are increasing,” said Marivic Españo, P&A Grant Thornton’s chairperson and CEO.

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