Global trade in goods and machinery for infrastructure such as roads, railways and power networks is forecast to triple by 2030.
This growth will be fuelled by increased investment from emerging markets, according to HSBC’s latest Global Connections report, produced together with Oxford Economics.
The report forecast that trade relating to infrastructure will grow at an average of +9% per year between 2013 and 2030.
It is estimated that, by 2020, India would overtake the US to become the largest importer of goods for infrastructure, such as metals and minerals, as it builds new transport networks, power plants, offices and factories.
And China is set to become the top importer of specialist machinery and construction equipment as it invests in manufacturing productivity and moves into increasingly sophisticated products.
The report differentiates between goods for infrastructure, which it defines as the materials needed for infrastructure projects, and investment equipment – the machinery required by businesses to boost production.
The report also forecast that Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Vietnam are set for rapid increases in infrastructure-related imports.
HSBC global head of trade and receivables finance, James Emmett, said, “The investment that countries are making in infrastructure is phenomenal and provides a huge opportunity for businesses looking to grow and develop. Rising middle classes across Asia’s rapidly emerging markets will drive significant infrastructure demand in the region.”
Mr Emmett added that as China shifted its focus towards higher-value manufacturing, it would open up opportunities for developed economies to supply the country with sophisticated machinery.
And the report added that the expected global increase in demand for infrastructure would also create opportunities for exporters based in emerging markets.
China is expected to increase its share of exports of goods for infrastructure to 34% and of investment equipment to 39% by 2030.
Between 2013 and 2030, Brazil will also rise from fifteenth to tenth in its share of global infrastructure-related exports, according to the report.
In addition, it said Bangladesh, Vietnam and Malaysia were increasing exports of infrastructure goods at the fastest rate, albeit from a modest base.