HSBC report reveals mid-market firms could unlock billions in revenues by increasing exports

  • Largest global study of mid-market enterprises finds only 15% of revenues are derived from exports
  • MMEs in 14 countries currently contribute $9trn to global GDP and directly employ 208m people
  • Should MMEs boost their exports by just 1%, they could add a combined $12.5billion to their economic impact

HSBC today releases a report revealing that mid-market enterprises could take advantage of huge opportunities from international trade. In fact, exports currently account for only 15% of MMEs’ revenues.

HSBC Commercial Banking, in conjunction with Oxford Economics, explored the views of 1,400 MME senior executives in 14 countries in addition to in-depth economic analysis. The findings reveal more leaders are focusing their growth strategies on domestic markets (18%) rather than international expansion (11%). Only 3% expect global operations will contribute to their business’ financial performance in the next three years. This is despite domestic market volatility (55%) being their top concern. Regulatory changes (52%) and skills shortages (50%) were also identified as key concerns that are tempering MME growth appetites.

MMEs are the backbone of the economy, making significant contribution to growth and employment. It is estimated that the 433,000 MME companies across 14 countries covered by this study directly employed 208 million people – equivalent to the population of Brazil – and support $3.4 trillion in exports. It is estimated that in just two years the direct contribution of MMEs to global GDP increased by 9% and the number of jobs they support grew by 3%.

Further economic analysis predicts that if mid-market enterprises (MMEs) boosted their export-based revenues by just 1%, they would increase their economic impact by $12.5 billion across the14 economies.

Noel Quinn, Chief Executive of Global Commercial Banking, HSBC said: “MME firms make a huge contribution to their economies, and have the potential to deliver even greater growth if they considered going to new markets. Many of the concerns they have, could in fact be addressed with an international strategy – whether that’s overcoming local economic uncertainty or capitalising on new skills and expertise. In an environment of lower growth, we must help these companies reap the benefits of international commerce, and just as importantly work to raise their profile as major economic contributors, and potentially influential government stakeholders”.


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