HSBC Study Finds More U.S. Businesses Using Chinese Currency - Global Trade Magazine
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  March 25th, 2015 | Written by

HSBC Study Finds More U.S. Businesses Using Chinese Currency

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Nearly seven in 10 U.S. businesses expect to buy or sell more goods with China in the next 12 months—a 55 percent increase from 2014—and more companies are discussing using China’s currency, the renminbi (RMB), according to a new global survey of high-level business executives in 14 countries commissioned by HSBC. Only business leaders in the UAE (71 percent) and Korea (68 percent) had higher expectations for increased business with China.

U.S. exports to China are expected to average 9 percent per year in the medium term, while imports from China are expected to grow by an annual average of 7 percent through 2020, according to the survey.

“As the opportunity to do business with China increases, U.S. businesses can take advantage of using renminbi to deepen relationships with suppliers, reach new suppliers or reduce their exposure to currency fluctuations,” says Kevin Quinn, head of Corporate Banking for HSBC in New York. “The benefits of using renminbi to settle trade with the world’s biggest trading nation and the second largest trading partner of the U.S., behind Canada, can’t be overlooked.”

More U.S. businesses are investigating the idea, though not as many as some global competitors. Close to one-fifth of U.S. management teams have had discussions about using the RMB as a potential opportunity or business enabler, the survey found. The trend puts the U.S.-based companies on par with their global peers in Australia, Canada and the UK, though behind senior management teams in Singapore, Malaysia, Germany and the UAE, where about one-fourth of teams have done so.

HSBC’s survey also revealed that 12 percent of U.S.-based small businesses had used the RMB in the past 12 months, outpacing large or midsized firms (9 percent). Looking forward, however, more large companies (26 percent) plan to use RMB than small businesses (9 percent).

In fact, 14 percent of the U.S. businesses surveyed expect the RMB to be fully traded internationally within the next five years, leading HSBC’s Quinn to advise that, if they don’t already, U.S. businesses should set up the infrastructure to be ready to use RMB. “It’s a growing opportunity,” he says.