European trade has fallen in the last three years and research shows the slack is being picked up by Asia.
According Western Union International Trade Monitor Research, three years ago 78 per cent of small businesses said Europe was their main market for imports. However, in 2015 that figure has dropped significantly to less than 50 per cent.
The shortfall appears to have been picked up by China with 44 per cent of SMEs listing it as their primary market for imports. To put it in perspective, that marks a 30 per cent increase from three years ago. In fact, just under a quarter (23 per cent) have said China is a key market for British exports.
India’s presence has also increased with two out of ten of SMEs surveyed saying it was a key imports market, almost double the amount of respondents who said the swim in 2012.
Western Union International Trade Monitor Research said the change in markets is down to the improvements made in Asian manufacturers.
Small businesses have said they now feel more confident about trading with Asia.
“The European economy has been incredibly volatile in recent months as the possibility of a Gr-exit and even a Br-exit dominate the headlines. Meanwhile Asia and North America have continued to grow as key trading partners and they are quickly catching up to their European counterpart,” said Tony Crivelli, UK managing director of Western Union Business Solutions.