LONDON: November 26, 2015. A report from HSBC produced by Oxford Economics forecasts global exports will reach US$68.5 trillion by 2050 – nearly four times the expected figure for 2015. Developments in technology, logistics, public policy and operations will provide new opportunities for businesses as physical borders become less important.
Asia will be a big beneficiary with the region's share of global exports predicted to reach 46 percent by 2050, compared with 33 percent in 2015. HSBC expects China to extend its lead as the world's top exporter followed by India with Western Europe and North America seeing their share of global exports decline.
According to Simon Cooper, HSBC chief executive Commercial Banking: "Today we are on the cusp of a third wave of globalization anchored by new technologies and increasing economic integration. It promises to take nations out of poverty and improve quality of life across the world. Radio took 38 years to achieve 50 million users; a target achieved in just three years by the Internet and in a single year by Facebook. When we consider the future in this context, there are many great opportunities but also uncertainties for the business world."
The Oxford Economics research finds that the third stage of globalization will be driven by continued industrialization coupled with a sharp drop in transport and communication costs. It predicts new markets will open up and changes in trade policy will lead to a fall in the cost of trade. The study defines the first stage between 1865-1913, the second between 1950-2007, and the third between 2015-2050.
Stuart Tait, HSBC global head of Trade and Receivables Finance added: "There will be a huge change in current supply chains. Logistics will become even more efficient as each element becomes trackable."
The report says other trade influences over the next four decades include multilateral efforts to counter climate change and the development of 3D printing enabling customized "build to order" production.