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Britain to step up global business activity

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British companies look set to engage more heavily with their counterparts in other countries in the future, new estimates suggest.

According to figures from HSBC, international business activity in the UK will go up by nearly two-thirds during the next 15 years.

According to Alan Keir, group managing director at the firm, overseas activity will be "critical" for companies in the UK if they want to remain competitive.

However, he suggested it could also be vitally important to the wider British economy.

"Tapping into the new opportunities and considering partners outside of British borders is just one tactic for businesses competing on a global stage," Mr Keir said.

HSBC believes global trade growth will pick up from 2014 onwards, as this is when it expects the rate of expansion in the global economy to increase as well.

The company's optimism is based partly on the fact that UK exports went up by 13 per cent last year, with demand particularly strong in India.

Indeed, figures showed exports to the country rose by 37 per cent in 2011, while the number of exports to China surged by 21 per cent.

This could lead to many more business money transfers taking place between the UK and emerging markets outside Europe.

The automotive industry has been tipped to be one major driver of growth in the next few years, along with the "world class" biotechnology sector, as demand for medicinal goods is likely to go up in many parts of the world.

HSBC commented: "There are fundamental changes taking place in world trade."

Mr Keir added that the organisation's most recent forecast shows a "positive long-term outlook for UK businesses".

This is the latest indicator that conditions may improve for companies in Britain, follow predictions from both the CBI and the British Chambers of Commerce that the domestic economy will experience growth this year.

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