A new global study from HSBC has found that businesses face a balancing act of targeting international expansion and managing trade and supply challenges, with investment in new digital platforms set to be a major driver behind that growth.
Aline Ayotte (pictured), Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, believes the Crown Dependencies have the capacity to play a key role supporting this growth.
HSBC’s new Business Balancing Act study, a survey of CEOs and CFOs from more than 2,100 businesses across 14 markets around the world, found that two-thirds (64%) of global mid-market enterprises (MMEs) – firms with a turnover of between $10 million and $500 million – say they plan to expand internationally in 2023.
The relative positivity shown by businesses, however, is set against a backdrop of concern regarding inflation and the cost of living (38%), increased interest rates (32%) and, for many markets, political uncertainty (27%).
The research – carried out for HSBC by polling company Toluna – also found that businesses expect technology-driven efficiencies and the expansion to new digital platforms and channels to be two of the major growth drivers, demonstrating business leaders’ continued emphasis on digital and innovation.
In addition, more than a third of those polled said increasing domestic demand and the ever-growing prioritisation of sustainability will also play vital roles.
Commenting on the survey findings from an island perspective, Aline Ayotte said: “There are a number of indicators in this global survey that suggest the Channel Islands and Isle of Man are well placed to support the international growth objectives of businesses in 2023. As leading financial centres, for example, the islands have the capability to provide much needed access to financing for cross-border businesses looking to grow into new markets, whilst offering innovative digital solutions that can assist companies with streamlining operations.
“The islands have also been successful in establishing themselves as centres for sustainable finance and, against the backdrop of market volatility, provide businesses with platforms of genuine stability. That will all be highly prized heading into next year. It’s important that the islands continue to be robust and clear in delivering that message to the global commercial sector.”
Barry O’Byrne, Chief Executive Officer, Global Commercial Banking at HSBC, said: “Businesses are operating in an increasingly complex global economic landscape, navigating a wide range of challenges from soaring inflation to rising interest rates. Despite this, there is a strong sense of global resilience and ambition amongst mid-size businesses as they zero in on growth in 2023.
“Our study shows that they are also looking to expand into new markets, improve sustainability and launch new products. New technology and access to finance are expected to be the twin-engines of growth for businesses in the short and long-term.”
The full study can be found here.