Traling has released the second edition of its Global Survey Report, which encompasses a study conducted with exporting companies. The participants consisted of approximately 3,000 export-oriented firms from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. According to the survey, while companies maintain a relatively optimistic outlook regarding their export expectations for the year 2023, they continue to harbor concerns about economic uncertainties. The results of the report indicate an increase in the apprehension of exporters regarding the risk of non-payment, with an average rise of 11 percentage points compared to the previous survey, reaching a level of 40%.
The survey included questions pertaining to exports, supply chain disruptions, and Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) strategies. There has been a decrease in the proportion of companies anticipating an increase in revenue. In 2022, 80% of the participating companies expected an increase in revenue through exports compared to the previous year, whereas this figure has now declined to 70%. This decline is interpreted as a reflection of reduced confidence in the global trade environment for the year 2023, where the projected growth rate is only 0.7% as opposed to the 3.8% growth witnessed in 2022.
According to the report, there has been a diminished appetite among companies for exploring new markets, with a focus on consolidating their presence in existing markets. Approximately 63% of the participants prefer to augment their investments in the countries they are already operating in, while only 47% plan to invest in new countries. Furthermore, in terms of export strategies, over 55% of the companies aim to increase their market share in their current operating countries, while approximately 52% contemplate diversifying their markets and targeting new countries.
The survey reveals that companies predominantly finance their export development plans through cash reserves, bank loans, and payment conditions. However, it is emphasized that in an environment where cash buffers have diminished and bank loan conditions have become more stringent, the distinctions between these alternatives have blurred. Furthermore, around 75% of the respondents acknowledge that logistic obstacles and high transportation costs strongly impact their export activities in 2023. Additionally, over 80% of the participants state that due to economic slowdown and financial constraints, they will prioritize business continuity over ESG commitments. Nonetheless, companies have not completely abandoned their ESG goals.