Australia's international trade is set to surge 129% by 2025, with the rate of growth nearly doubling the world's economy, according to HSBC.
The financial services firm forecasts that Australia will equal China as the world's second fastest growing export market by that time.
During this term, Australia's strongest trade growth will be over the next five years, HSBC predicts. Growth will peak in 2012 and 2013, when it will be 8.9% - nearly four times world growth.
HSBC Bank Australia's head of commercial banking, James Hogan, said the forecast “sends an encouraging message to Australian companies to seize the opportunities now to establish overseas trade relationships for short-term and future growth.”
He said the predictions are consistent with the group's own experience with trade export turnover in the nation during FY11.
The opportunities available to Australian exporters is reflected in their outlook for the next six months. While Australian traders expect the current global economic situation to take a toll on international trade, 85% expect their own trade volumes to be maintained or increase over this time.
China is expected to remain Australia's largest trading partner, with total trade between the countries pegged to hit US$148 billion (now $149.75 billion) by 2025.
But despite the importance of China to Australia's trade, Hogan warned its research shows Australia is falling behind economies such as Japan, Hong Kong and Malaysia in terms of the use of the renimbi (RMB) to settle international transactions.
“As the use of RMB becomes more commonplace, Australian companies that do not have the capability to transact in RMB may be disadvantaged if Chinese traders prioritise RMB-ready businesses,” he said.
In Asia-Pacific, international trade is expected to grow 96% by 2025, by which time the largest trading hubs will be China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong. The US will also play an increasingly important role in facilitating intra-Asian trade.
India, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia will meanwhile also emerge as major trade players over this time.
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