A survey from HSBC indicates that China has edged out the US as the biggest foreign market for firms located in the Asia-Pacific.
China was the biggest trading partner for 29% of firms surveyed, according to a report released by HSBC on 1 December, as compared to 28% of firms who indicated that it was the US.
The HSBC survey polled around 10,400 companies situated in 39 nations during the period from 11 September to 7 October, around a month prior to the US presidential election.
The shift in trading weight arrives during a nadir in relations between China and the US, with tensions heightened by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts by Washington to bar the expansion of leading Chinese tech brands such as Huawei, TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat.
Natalie Blyth, HSBC’s global head of trade finance, pointed to a “tipping point” in the world economy as China continues to rise in terms of regional and economic influence despite the COVID-19 pandemic and US trade tensions.
“That regional shift from west to east and the rise of Asia has just accelerated through this,” said Blyth to Bloomberg.