Global trade in infrastructure goods to surge: HSBC

LONDON Mon Oct 7, 2013 7:02pm EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - Trade in goods to build infrastructure such as ports, railways and power stations will rise sharply over the next two decades as developing economies climb the value ladder and rich nations keep investing to maintain their competitive advantage, HSBC said on Tuesday.

The bank forecast that infrastructure-related trade will grow by 9 percent a year between now and 2030. Demand will be driven by, among other factors, the rising consumption of Asia's fast-growing middle class.

"This is a vital part of the story of rebalancing the global economy," said James Emmett, HSBC's global head of trade and receivables finance.

By 2030 India will have replaced the United States as the largest importer of goods to build infrastructure, HSBC said in its latest Trade Forecast.

Excluding the United States, the bank expects Mexico to be the biggest non-Asian importer of infrastructure goods, ahead of Brazil.

In another trade trend related to shifts in the global economy, China's transition to high-value manufacturing will make it the world's biggest importer of sophisticated investment equipment by 2020, HSBC projected.

Global trade has slowed since the onset of the global financial crisis. HSBC said it expected growth at a modest pace until 2015 and then an acceleration between 2016 and 2020.

(Reporting By Alan Wheatley; Editing by Pravin Char)