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October 23, 2018

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Executives upbeat on global trade, study shows

About 66 percent of Chinese executives believe global trade will grow over the next five years, despite global trade tensions, the latest Bloomberg trade survey released yesterday shows.

The survey also found there was greater confidence in the trade outlook in developing countries than in developed countries.

Asked which countries will be the top three economically in 10 years, most of the 2,000 respondents in 20 countries selected China (86 percent), followed by the United States (70 percent) and Japan (36 percent).

“One of the striking findings from the survey is the divergence between optimism about the global trade outlook in emerging markets, and pessimism in developed economies,” said Tom Orlik, Bloomberg’s chief economist.

“This suggests that, for emerging markets, the costs of the current slide toward a trade war could be less than expected.

“If businesses retain that fundamental optimism about the outlook for trade, continued hiring and investment could propel growth forward, even as tariff barriers rise.”

Respondents in emerging markets are also more confident about the future and motivated to prepare for it than those in developed markets. Around 73 percent of respondents from China are learning about new technologies in preparation for the future, the survey showed.

Executives from emerging markets expressed an inclination toward AI and believe it presents workers with new job opportunities that will generate a net benefit to economies, especially those from China, India and Vietnam.

The survey was conducted by Bloomberg in September, polling 2,000 mid- to senior-level business professionals across 20 countries.


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