HSBC Navigator surveyed over 3,000 small to large international corporates operating across 11 European markets (Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK) and Russia.

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  • 81% firms in Europe are positive about the international trading environment

  • A quarter of European firms are focusing on up-skilling their work force to capitalise on new technologies

Key findings from the Europe report

Businesses remain positive about their trade outlook, but clouds are gathering on the horizon

The outlook has certainly cooled for European exporters, but this must be viewed in the context of a historically-strong 2017. The HSBC Navigator survey shows that firms in the region are looking forward to opportunities offered by EU efforts to open new markets, with plans to make this a key part of their strategy for the coming years – even as worries about access to the US market persist. Plans to increase use of digital and data are welcome, but the region currently lags other parts of the world on this.

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How your business can respond

  • Companies should ‘get ahead of the game’ and investigate whether forthcoming EU trade deals offer opportunities for their goods and services.
  • Explore potential opportunities to capture market share as international supply chains are disrupted by trade barriers between the US and China.

Hear from Andy Wild

Head of Commercial Banking, Continental Europe

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European businesses are overwhelmingly positive about their prospects in the year ahead, but they’re seeing clouds on the horizon in terms of growing protectionism and the uncertainty of Brexit. There are signs that European businesses are renewing focus on trade within the European region, though new trade agreements the EU is striking elsewhere will help exporters internationally.

Andy Wild, Head of Commercial Banking, Continental Europe

HSBC’s Navigator surveyed 8,650 business decision-makers in 34 markets. Research by Kantar TNS for HSBC August / September 2018