Allianz Trade Global Survey

Allianz Trade Global Survey

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Allianz Trade Global Survey

About Allianz Trade

We predict trade and credit risk
today, so companies can have
confidence in tomorrow.
Allianz Trade is the global leader in trade credit insurance
and a recognized specialist in the areas of surety,
collections, structured trade credit and political risk.
Our proprietary intelligence network analyses daily changes
in +80 million corporates solvency. We give companies
the confidence to trade by securing their payments. We
compensate your company in the event of a bad debt,
but more importantly, we help you avoid bad debt in the
first place. Whenever we provide trade credit insurance or
other finance solutions, our priority is predictive protection.
But, when the unexpected arrives, our AA credit rating
means we have the resources, backed by Allianz, to
provide compensation to maintain your business.
Headquartered in Paris, Allianz Trade is present in 52
countries with 5,500 employees. In 2021, our insured
global business transactions represented € 931 billion
in exposure.
For more information, please visit allianz-trade.com
Allianz Trade is the trademark used to designate a range
of services provided by Euler Hermes.

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ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

PAGE 4

Top 3 trends from the Allianz Trade
Global Survey
In this white paper, you will discover the
results of our Allianz Trade Global Survey
2022, enriched with insights from eight
global trade experts:
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Jean Pisani-Ferry,
Ailish Campbell, Elizabeth Ducottet,
Christophe Lecourtier, Sandy Kemper,
Christian Greisberger and Kelvin Tan.

PAGE 5

A fast-changing global landscape:
Opportunities and risks
PAGE 11

What international model are firms adopting
to face this changing environment?
PAGE 16
ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Top 3 trends from the
Allianz Trade Global Survey
How is the current international environment affecting exporters and their willingness to trade? In
our Allianz Trade Global Survey 2022, we decided to check the pulse of companies in the United
States, China, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany. Two surveys were carried out – one
before the start of the invasion of Ukraine and one after, involving nearly 3,000 corporates.

Ana Boata
Head of Economic
Research, Allianz
Trade

After the optimism of the global “grand reopening” in 2021, our survey shows that 2022 could be
much more of a rocky road for exporters. Both business and consumer confidence have taken a hit
from the war in Ukraine, and higher commodity prices and extended supply-chain disruptions will
ramp up the cost of exporting for months to come.
When we look at the overall results of our survey, three trends stand out:

1.

More businesses are bracing for a hit
to turnovers in 2022. In the first round
of our survey, just 6% of companies were
worried about turnover dropping in 2022;
now, the share has risen to 22%, mostly
in the chemicals, energy & utilities and
machinery & equipment sectors. To cope
with the ongoing slowdown in demand,
companies are planning to diversify
export markets and increase investments
in new markets, proving that export
ambitions remain resilient. But the longer
the conflict lasts, the greater the risk
of the slowdown escalating into a fullfledged demand shock, which could push
global trade into a severe recession.

3.


Non-payment risk is back. More than
40% of European exporters expect
payment terms to increase following
the invasion of Ukraine and more than
half expect a rise in non-payment risk in
the next six to 12 months, compared to
less than one third before the war. This
confirms the normalization in business
insolvencies that had already begun
before the war, albeit still at a moderate
pace. For the main European export
markets, we expect insolvencies to rise by
more than +10% in 2022.

56%

2.


The legacy of the Covid-19 era, state
support is still viewed as the ultimate
lifeline in crisis times. High energy
prices, geopolitical tensions, increased
transportation bottlenecks, sanctions
against Russia and input shortages rank
among the top concerns for companies.
With the additional pressure of rising
financing costs and currency risks, around
half of the companies we surveyed
believe financing support via stateguaranteed loans and direct subsidies
would protect their businesses from
the fallout of the war. However, in the
absence of much more severe economic
shock, we are unlikely to see the return
of extensive “whatever it takes” policy
support as seen during the Covid-19 crisis.

4

of respondents are
increasingly worried
about high energy prices

42%

of respondents
expect higher
funding costs to be
a challenge in 2022

51%

of respondents expect
non-payment risk in the next
6 to 12 months to increase

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

A fast-changing global landscape:
Opportunities and risks
2021 was a blockbuster year for exports
Last year was an exceptional one for exporters:
Overall, seven companies out of 10 declare
they recorded higher-than-expected export
performance in 2021. The US and Germany
performed particularly well, with 75% and 76%
of corporates saying they witnessed higherthan-expected exports, respectively. But they
did have to adapt to a new normal in trade in
a context of lingering lockdowns and transport
bottlenecks. In the US, where companies
were most disrupted by supply shocks, this
entailed increasing inventories (48%), finding
new suppliers (45%) and targeting new export
markets (43%) to boost growth. Over a third of
exporters in France, Italy and the UK say they
also relied on finding new suppliers to cope with
supply-chain disruptions, while 39% of German
exporters say they focused on new export
markets, mostly those close to home such as
France and Spain.

the cost of Brexit and the military escalation
in Ukraine: Even before the war, 11% of UK
companies said they expected exports to
decrease in 2022, and this share rose to 19% in
the second round of our survey.

As Covid-19 restrictions pushed even more of
the world online, digitalization became vital for
companies’ export strategies: 60% of companies
in China, 48% in Italy and 38% in Germany
say they focused on digitalization in 2021.
Diversifying channels of distribution was also a
priority, especially for exporters in China (56%),
France (38%) and the UK (35%).

Looking at the export strategy for 2022, we find
that Chinese, Italian and French exporters are
the most diversified, with more than 5% of total
export revenues coming from more than six
markets, against three in US, UK and Germany.
But for all this diversification, there is one market
that remains the top destination for exporters in
the UK, Germany, Italy and China: the US, while
it is second for France, just after China.

Will 2022 bring even more export opportunities?
Before the invasion of Ukraine, companies in
Italy and France certainly seemed optimistic,
with 97% expecting an increase (compared
with 93% in Germany). Unsurprisingly, the war
rattled these expectations: Now, 29% of Italian
firms, 23% of those in France and 16% of those
in Germany are expecting exports to decline
in 2022. In the UK, companies are facing both

Across sectors, around one third of respondents
in the chemicals, energy & utilities, machinery
& equipment and manufacturing sectors now
expect exports to decline in 2022. This compares
with the overall level of 5% before the war.
Most exporters are planning to expand their
business to new markets in 2022, especially
those in China (92%) and the US (84%), and
those in the oil and gas, automotive, logistics, IT
& telecom and construction sectors. In contrast,
more companies in the UK and Germany list
their domestic markets as their top 3 sources of
revenues in 2022.

-16pp

After the invasion of Ukraine, the
share of respondents expecting an
increase in their export turnover
dropped from 94% to 78%

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ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Export markets most targeted in 2021 and 2022

Top export market by country in 2021





United States: UK (23%)
United Kingdom: US (28%)
France: US & Germany (17%)
Germany: US (18%)
Italy: US & UK (22%)
China: US (22%)

Top 3 new export markets targeted by country in 2022

United States:
United-Kingdom:
France:
Germany:
Italy:
China:
6

France (10%), UK (9%), Canada (8%)
Spain (8%), Germany (7%), France (6%)
China, US & Germany (all at 7%)
France (7%), US & Japan (5%)
France & Germany (9%), UK & Japan (7%)
Japan (7%), France, Germany & Canada (all at 6%)

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Energy prices will set the tone for 2022
The “grand reopening” of the global economy in
2021 was a rollercoaster ride for companies as
global supply-chain disruptions sent transportation
costs and energy prices surging to record highs.
Indeed, the companies we surveyed said that
the top five risks that affected export growth in
2021 were uncertainty about demand due to
Covid-19 (40%), high energy prices (35%), labor
shortages and costs (35%), transportation costs
(33%) and input shortages (30%).
Higher energy prices were a significant hurdle
for exporters in the chemical sector (55%),
followed by utilities (48%), household equipment
(44%), construction (43%) and machinery
& equipment (38%). And Italian exporters
suffered the most: More than half of the Italian
companies we surveyed said that they had
been strongly impacted by high energy prices,
followed by UK and US exporters. In contrast,
Chinese companies were far less affected, with
less than a third saying they had been strongly
impacted by high energy prices.
Labor shortages posed a problem mainly in the
utilities (34%), oil and gas (33%), construction
(31%), IT & telecom (31%) and services (30%)
sectors, and particularly for US companies: 78%
of US exporters said they faced a significant or
moderate impact of labor shortages and related
costs. But the share was sizable in France (72%),
the UK (65%) and Germany (65%), too.
Will 2022 bring some respite? Companies are
not entirely convinced. Many are still worried
about energy prices, transportation costs, and
labor and input shortages in the year ahead.
Energy prices are by far the top concern, with
72% of companies saying they expect them to
remain a challenge in 2022. In fact, over a third
of the companies we surveyed already expected
energy prices to become more of a challenge
in 2022 even before the invasion of Ukraine in
February 2022. The share of exporters expecting
energy prices to become more of a challenge
in 2022 is highest in Italy (46%), followed by the
US (38%) and France (37%). In comparison, only
27% of companies in China are worried. Looking
at sectors, companies in construction (46%),
utilities (43%), chemicals (43%) and machinery &
equipment (42%) are the most concerned.

Since the invasion of Ukraine, high energy prices
have become even more of a concern for European
exporters. The share of European corporates that
expect high energy prices to become more of a
challenge has increased from 37% to 56%, with
most worried in countries with the highest
dependency on imports of gas: Italy (66%
compared to 46% pre-war), the UK (62% compared
to 47% pre-war) and Germany (52% against 34%
pre-war). The fact that France has the lowest
share of companies concerned by high energy
prices (46% vs. 37% pre-war) likely reflects the
implementation of the government’s “Resilience
Plan” that takes into account the cost of the energy
bill for most corporates. Looking at sectors, a
majority of corporates in chemicals, energy &
utilities, household equipment, ITC, machinery &
equipment, oil & gas and retail see high energy
prices as an increasing challenge for 2022.
Since the beginning of the war, concerns about
transportation bottlenecks (cost and delivery
times) have also increased, with about 49% of
European corporates expecting more challenges
in 2022, with the UK (56%), Germany (53%) and
Italy (52%) being most concerned, compared
to 34% in France. In comparison, before the
war, only 22% of European respondents
were concerned about higher transportation
times and 27% were concerned about higher
transportation costs in 2022.
The same goes for shortages or the high cost of
inputs for which the share of European corporates
expecting a deterioration has increased from
20% to 46%. Corporates in household
equipment, oil & gas, machinery & equipment,
chemicals and ITC are the most worried. Italy
had the highest share of companies worried
about worsening shortages or the high cost of
inputs (51% of corporates, compared to 24%
pre-war), followed by the UK and Germany (47%
compared to 32% and 25%, respectively) and
France (38%, compared to 26% pre-war).
While only 23% of exporters say geopolitical
tensions had a significant impact on their 2021
performance, 32% of them were already citing
them as a growing concern in 2022 even before
the war in Ukraine, especially in the US, Italy
and China. Since the beginning of the war, this
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ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

50%
40%

49%

50%

56%

60%

30%

27%

28%

Overall, the global context in 2022 is expected
to remain marked by the war in Ukraine and its
fallout: higher energy prices, the rise in (geo)
political risk and potential transportation
bottlenecks. Exporters are likely to face lower
demand prospects along with growing risks,
which will impact their turnover growth as well
as their profitability.

Top 3 concerns that European exporters expect
to become more of a challenge in 2022

37%

share has increased to 50% in Europe, with the
UK (60% against 38% pre-war) and Italy (58%
against 37% pre-war) the most worried.

20%
10%
0%
High energy prices

Geopolitics Transportation bottlenecks

Before the invasion

After the invasion
Source: Allianz Research

International B2B payments: Longer and longer, riskier and riskier

Share of respondents expecting the risk of non-payment
to increase in the next six to twelve months

23%

30%

26%

40%

27%

50%

43%

49%

60%

53%

58%

70%

30%

However, this is not dissuading companies from
looking for new export opportunities: 55% of
firms that recorded longer payment times also
say that they plan to export to new markets in
2022. And 65% of them declare that they will
seek more investments for their companies’
international development in 2022.

The ongoing war in Ukraine is also shifting
expectations and driving down exporters’
confidence. Following the invasion and the
consequent impact on the global economy,
more than half of respondents now expect
non-payment risk to increase in the next six to
twelve months, compared with less than 30% in
February 2022. Similarly, over 40% of exporters
now expect payment terms to lengthen after the
war broke out, compared to 31% before.

51%

Despite the strong economic rebound in 2021,
cash hoarding in many corporates1 and a solid
recovery in global trade, 50% of our respondents
declare that payment times got longer in 2021.
The share was highest in France, where 62% of
firms faced longer payment times, followed by
China and the US. (48%). Interestingly, among firms
that have undertaken digitalization – which we
would expect to smoothen transactions – 58% of
respondents still reported longer payment times.

non-auto manufacturing firms faced the same
– though this could also be linked to up-front
payment policies in the sector. More than half of
smaller firms (with 20-99 employees) also report
longer payment times, alongside 48% of large
corporates (+1,000 employees).

27%

Exports are a proven way to develop business
but they also come with risks, especially when
closing transactions with new partners in remote
locations: payment delays, dealing with different
legal frameworks, among others. Our survey shows
that for a majority of firms, and up to 65% in China,
66% in France and 56% in Germany, non-payment
issues had a “moderate” or “significant” impact
on their exports over the past 12 months.

20%

From a sector perspective, as transportation
and energy costs have been rising significantly,
it is no surprise that 57% of logistics firms and
67% of oil & gas companies report increased
payment times. In comparison, only 36% of

10%
0%
Total

Germany

Before the invasion

UK

France

Italy

After the invasion
Source: Allianz Research

8

1 See our report European corporates: Cash-rich sectors get richer.

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Insight

Global trade: Caught between a rock and a hard place?
After the invasion of Ukraine, global trade is
facing a double whammy: a confidence shock
that could cost close to half a trillion dollars in
demand, as well as already high price pressures
surging even higher.

Ludovic Subran
Chief economist,
Allianz

That’s why we now expect trade to grow by
+4.0% in volume terms in 2022, -2pp lower than
what was expected before the war. On the other
hand, higher oil prices and a stronger dollar will
drive up the cost of trade. In fact, since 2020,
Brent and container freight prices have started
to move in sync, which means freight rates could
reach a record-high peak of USD14,000/FEU. As
a result, we have revised upwards our forecast
for global trade price growth by a whopping
+5.7pp to close to +11% in 2022.
To add to this, it is hard to hold out hope for a
normalization of supply chains this year. With
major container lines rerouting ships to less
direct and more expensive routes to avoid the
Black Sea, congestion is likely to rise at other
European ports. And air freight is complicated
by the closure of critical air space.
On the other side of the globe, renewed Covid-19
outbreaks in China are another cause for
concern: With ports seeing drastically reduced
activity, or even at risk of being closed to comply
with the zero-Covid strategy, delivery times will
remain extended through 2022. Altogether,
this will push back the normalization of global
supply chains well into 2023.
In this context, it is no surprise that high energy
prices, geopolitical tensions and increased
transportation bottlenecks are the top concerns
for European exporters. As I write this, the risks of
a double-dip in global trade have considerably
increased, and our survey confirms that pessimism
has increased since the start of the war.
But companies can and will adapt their export
strategies to this new normal, just like they did in
2021, the year supply-chain disruptions sent the
global logistics network into crisis mode. It is a
very good sign that more than half of those in
the UK, Germany, France and Italy are targeting
new export markets in 2022, as well as looking

for new suppliers and new transportation service
providers. Another silver lining: intensified
geopolitical tensions are unlikely to roll back
globalization: Over 40% of exporters are planning
to seek out more investment for international
development than planned before the war.
At the same time, and despite their comfortable
cash buffers, companies are flagging financing
as a risk to watch in 2022. The record-high
inflation rates we are seeing around the world,
fueled by the fallout from the war in Ukraine,
have already kicked off monetary policy
tightening in several advanced economies. We
expect this trend to intensify through 2022 and
2023, which explains why over 40% of European
corporates expect more funding challenges this
year, and why more than half expect an increase
in non-payment risk in the next six to 12 months.
Before the war broke out, only 30% felt the same.
In this context, what matters is how long the
conflict lasts. The longer it continues, the higher
the risk of a full-fledged demand shock that
could push global trade into a recession. Things
could get worse before they get better!

Companies can and will adapt
their export strategies to this new
normal, just like they did in 2021,
the year supply-chain disruptions
sent the global logistics network
into crisis mode. It is a very
good sign that more than half
of those in the UK, Germany,
France and Italy are targeting
new export markets in 2022, as
well as looking for new suppliers
and new transportation service
providers.
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ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Insight

External growth, local set-ups and adaptation are
key to expand your international business

Elizabeth Ducottet
CEO of Thuasne

How has Thuasne succeeded internationally?
External growth is good for developing your
international network: by acquiring companies
or factories abroad, you can establish yourself
more easily in new markets using existing
infrastructures. For example, as early as 1989,
we tapped into market opportunities in Eastern
Europe with the fall of the Berlin Wall to launch
subsidiaries in Germany, Hungary and Slovakia.

What challenges do you currently face, and
how do you intend to overcome them?
The price and access to raw materials is a real
issue. In a specific sector like ours, this makes it
more difficult to adapt, because we need inputs
that are not easily replaceable and our pricing
is regulated. Profitability becomes an issue and
we must find ways to preserve it, for example by
optimizing our model and production pace.

We also focus on having local set-ups. Our
business model is very integrated: we selfmanage a large part of our value chain, from
design to sale. We produce locally and have
local sales teams so that we do not need to rely
on existing distributors. This allows us to control
our transport costs and optimize our sales cycles.

Transport costs is another tension as they
have multiplied by five since 2020. Faced with
this, I deeply believe in the continentalization
of industries. At Thuasne, we already favor
short supply chains, and I am convinced that
this strategy will be soon democratized. The
reindustrialization of Europe and the United
States will begin, if it has not already started.

Finally, adapting to local markets is essential.
For instance, when you set up in Romania, you
must observe how things operate locally, how
people work, the production processes and then
adopt them. You should also research local
suppliers and adapt your pricing to that market.
Did you adopt the same approach for the
American market?
Setting up in the United States is very complicated
for a French SME. I often said that you have to
be American to succeed in America, otherwise
industry actors such as regulators, suppliers and
customers don’t recognize you. To get into this
market, you absolutely have to buy a piece of it
to benefit from having local contacts.
You also need to consider the specificities of
their consumers. In our case, private healthcare
is rooted in the American market, contrary to
free healthcare in Europe. We had to adapt our
sales cycles as American doctors (our target
clients) are much less neutral when choosing
which patient medications to prescribe than
European doctors.

10

The primary uncertainty relates to energy and
gas supply from Russia. For decades, we’ve
been spoiled with abundant access to energy
at relatively low prices. Today, we must ask
ourselves how to moderate our energy use.
We have to dig deeper into the issue, identify
the wastage within our processes and limit
consumption where possible. When I see
factories, including ours, with their lights on all
night despite not running, I tell myself that there
are certainly areas of improvement in terms of
energy waste.

I often said that you have to be
American to succeed in America,
otherwise industry actors such as
regulators, suppliers and customers
don’t recognize you. To get into
this market, you absolutely have
to buy a piece of it to benefit
from having local contacts.

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

What international model are firms adopting
to face this changing environment?
Investment in 2022: Expanding to new markets to reduce the impact of the war
For all the concerns about the beginning of the
end of globalization, the Covid-19 crisis did not
spark a wave of reshoring in 2021. But most
companies in our survey still prefer to produce
on home ground, ranging from 74% in the UK to
89% in China. This trend is especially visible in
the machinery & equipment, oil & gas, retail
and logistics sectors, with companies citing
brand image and quality, the quality of the labor
force and the economic attractiveness of their
home country as the top three reasons behind
the choice.
In contrast, we find that the energy & utilities,
agrifood, chemicals, IT & telecom and
construction sectors are the most integrated in
global supply chains, with a higher dependence
on inputs from abroad. For companies in these
sectors, the lower costs of transportation,
the economic attractiveness of the country
of production and geographical proximity to
suppliers explain the choice to export from an
international location. Interestingly, ESG only
comes fifth after quality of labor.
For the 24% of French companies and 23% of UK
companies that do produce from an offshore
location, the most commonly cited reasons are
geographical proximity to suppliers, followed
by economic attractiveness of the country of
production and lower transportation costs.

Companies in China and the US have the most
ambitious investment plans for 2022, with 78%
and 61%, respectively, planning to invest more
this year compared to last year. Unsurprisingly,
the sectors that saw higher-than-expected
export performances in 2021, and which have
the best demand prospects for 2022, are at the
top of this list, notably household equipment, oil
and gas, retail, logistics and IT & telecom.
Following the invasion of Ukraine, 44% of
exporters say they will seek more investment for
international development than previously
planned, with the share rising to as much as 50%
among German exporters. However, 15% of
corporates don’t plan to invest or will reduce
their investment plans due to the war, with
household equipment and machinery &
equipment the most pessimistic sectors.
Interestingly, 54% of the respondents who
declared that they would invest more stated that
they would target new export markets and 62%
said they would not focus more on domestic
markets. In particular, close to 60% of firms in
Italy and the UK with higher investment
intentions plan to target new export markets.
From a sector perspective, 57% of manufacturing
firms and 67% of IT companies that plan to invest
more will seek new export markets. Overall, this
underlines a willingness to diversify markets
rather than retreat from or downsize export
ambitions in the wake of the war.
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ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

How will companies fund their ambitions
in 2022? Cash flows are the top source of
financing for more than half of exporters
(53%), followed by bank loans and credit from
suppliers. The share of exporters planning to
use cash is highest in the UK (64%), followed by
the US (57%) and China (54%). From a sector
perspective, companies in machinery and
equipment (68%), IT & telecom (64%), logistics
(63%), chemicals (55%) and construction (54%)
say they are most likely to use cash holdings for
investment purposes.

79%

of respondents prefer to export
through producing goods/services in
their home market, with brand image
and quality most frequently cited (45%)
as the reason for this choice.

Surprisingly, 75% of companies in the oil & gas
sector say they intend to use most bank loans.
And over half of companies in the household
equipment sector say they will use equity
funding and bond issuances. In contrast, for the
retail, service and agrifood sectors, credit from
suppliers is the main source of financing.
For more than half of the exporters we surveyed
across all six markets, improving profitability is
the top priority in 2022, though in China this is
placed on par with increasing resilience to future
shocks. Boosting productivity gains and turnover
growth are also among the top three priorities
in each market, but interestingly, cost control or
reimbursing state support as quickly as possible
are not on the radar, for now.

12

44%

want to invest more for international
development than planned before the
war, in order to diversify their markets.

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Insight

We have not solved the USD16 trillion small business liquidity trap

Alexander
“Sandy” Kemper
Chairman and
CEO of C2F0

In 2020, generous government support softened
the blow of the Covid-19 shock for companies. But
research shows that there is still a sizable share of
fragile Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
around the world. The greatest financial relief we
can give these SMEs is faster payment of their
outstanding invoices – liquidity. The lending
programs launched by the world’s governments and
central banks for SMEs have been extraordinary
but even more dollars will be needed.
As the founder of a technology company
that facilitates early payments of accounts
receivable, I am keenly aware that before the
crisis, the average small business had only a
few weeks of cash on hand. Yet many of them
had significant accounts receivable, often
representing 60-90 days of sales.
We estimate that these businesses are owed
more than USD16trn by their customers, half of
which are large companies.
Over 2020 and 2021, companies in the US and
Eurozone did accumulate a significant amount of
excess cash, which will act as a buffer – for now.
But research from Allianz Trade has shown that
it’s the already cash-rich sectors that got richer.
Moreover, across the board, much of the excess
cash will be needed to finance rising working
capital requirements. Surging input prices pose
another risk: only a handful of sectors can pass
on higher costs to their customers. As public
support comes to an end, and loans need to be
repaid, SME payment terms and Days Sales
Outstanding will only rise further, straining
liquidity further. In addition, rising interest rates
will only exacerbate the challenge SME’s face in
accessing affordable capital.

Why does this matter? The World Bank
estimates that the world’s 150 million SMEs
employ 60% of the working population and
generate nearly 50% of the world’s GDP.
As payment terms get longer, the risk of
insolvencies rises: As Allianz Trade has found, 7%
of total SMEs were already at risk of insolvency
in Germany, 13% in France and 15% in the UK.
This puts millions of livelihoods at stake.
So what if we created low-cost funding
specifically for larger companies to pay their
small and mid-sized suppliers immediately? We
would eliminate the need to underwrite loans for
tens of millions of businesses, which are already
overwhelming traditional finance channels. Do
this at scale and we could create USD8 trillion
of immediate relief for the world’s SMEs without
causing them to borrow a penny.
A typical large company has thousands of
suppliers, the majority being SMEs. One credit
facility to a larger company with a sizable supply
chain can advance funds to upwards of 1,000
SMEs, a 1:1000 amplifier effect. If just 20,000
such facilities were created, early payment
– liquidity – could immediately flow to over
20,000,000 SMEs.

As public support comes
to an end and loans
need to be repaid, SME
payment terms and DSO
will rise further, straining
liquidity further.

13

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Insight

Future of Trade – Innovation, Disruption, & Winners
Physical trade ecosystem players face
unprecedented challenges in terms of supply
chain uncertainty, adapting to digitalization and
Industry 4.0 technologies, keeping up with ESG
monitoring and reporting and rising energy costs.

Kelvin Tan
CEO & Chief
Investment Officer
of Origin Capital
Management

At the same time, for financial institutions and
insurers, the rise of fraud, heightened regulatory
scrutiny and sanctions risks result in cutting/pulling
back of banking lines and limits – further widening
the financing gap for corporates and SMEs.
Opportunities remain bright across almost
USD30trn of trade
Yes, trade and trade lenders face massive
challenges ahead. However, the future of trade
has never looked brighter. In 2021, global trade
hit a record high of USD28.5trn in 20212 . The
emergence of central bank digital currencies
and the onset of the Web 3.0 economy will
generate incredible growth opportunities in the
financial sector.

The rise of #tradetech (technologies adapted to
solving pain points in trade, maritime, logistics)
will undoubtedly accelerate transformation and
digitalization in trade – unlocking massive gains
in productivity and operational efficiency
(see Table I).
Fintech innovation in trade lending and credit
insurance – particularly those related to credit
underwriting, risk mitigation and embedded and
decentralized finance (DeFi) – will produce the
banking unicorns of tomorrow, alongside the
250 or so digital and neo-banks globally today.

Percentage of companies projecting outcome from trade technology
Lower trade costs and higher speed
Trade in new products
Positive environmental outcome
Inclusion of smaller players
Increased volume as transaction costs fall
Negative employment effects
Reinforce market power of big players
Digital displace trade in physical goods
Negative

Positive

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

Source: World Economic Forum

Fintech innovation in trade lending and credit
insurance will produce the banking unicorns of
tomorrow, alongside the 250 or so digital and
neo-banks globally today.
14

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Picking the winners
Yet, how do we spot the winners within such a broad opportunity landscape in trade?
Allow me to elaborate across three lenses/narratives:
(A) Where physical and financial trade meet and marry
The successful blending of standards and data across
physical trade carriers and financial intermediaries
will produce new products that will supercharge
digital trade. For example, the age-old bill of lading,
which came into existence during the 16th century, is
finally going electronic as shipping industry bodies
link up with SWIFT and the ICC3.

Besides China, other countries worth mentioning
include South Korea (whose use-cases include
international remittances) and Nigeria, whose eNaira
could facilitate the convertibility of West African
currencies and enhance intra Africa trade in West
Africa. There’s also Project Dunbar, led out of BIS’
Singapore innovation hub, which seeks to enable
international settlement using multi CBDCs.

Meanwhile, freight forwarders, liners and logistics
providers are leveraging their network and data
to not only underwrite loans for their customers,
further streamlining B2B commerce, but also working
towards structuring their massive physical supply
chain data pools into information that can be used to
mitigate financing and insurance underwriting risks.

Technology firms to watch are those that provide the
underlying technology and protocol that underpin,
amongst others, settlement and cross-border payment
of CBDCs for trade. Examples of such blockchain
technology include Klaytn, Corda and Quorum.

Amongst others, such data validates that an authentic
trade flow has taken place, provides a benchmark to
cross check against trade-based money laundering
and also allows for traceability reports to be
generated. The latter could be further extrapolated
to enable ESG/sustainability reporting. In this, the
companies to watch are NinjaVan (Singapore),
Flexport (US) and Beacon (UK).
(B) Digital currencies for trade finance
According to the Bank of International Settlement
(BIS) over 80% of central banks around the world are
looking into central bank digital currencies (CBDC),
either though pilots, studies or trial launches. It is not
inconceivable that within three years, pilot loans and
B2B trade contracts will be denominated in central
bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
China is a clear front-runner on the digital yuan, and
given the sheer volume and scale of China’s trade
with its neighbors, I would not be surprised to see the
digital yuan displace the USD in some trade contracts
– starting with contracts between China’s Greater Bay
Area and Hong Kong.

Stablecoins4 for trade finance are however not to be
ruled out, as they can certainly co-exist with CBDCs,
and provide other supporting “DeFI”-like transaction
banking services .
(C) Trade corridor opportunities – supercharged by
digital trade agreements
Digital trade agreements which govern and enable
market access for digital service providers between
countries, and which allow data to flow across
harmonized and trusted standards – will unlock new
opportunities in digital trade and trade finance.
For example, the recently signed UK and Singapore
Digital Economy Agreement puts in place a legal
framework for end-to-end digital end, encompassing
e-payments, paperless trading, trusted cross border
data flows and pilot projects around electronic bills
of lading and mutual recognition of digital identities.
Strategically located at the heart of Southeast Asia
(whose digital economy will grow to USD1trn by 2030),
Singapore has championed similar agreements with
New Zealand, Australia and Chile.

2 h
 ttps://unctad.org/news/global-trade-hits-record-high-285-trillion-2021-likely-be-subdued-2022
3 https://www.gtreview.com/news/fintech/shipping-industry-bodies-link-up-with-icc-and-swift-to-form-digitalisation-alliance/
4 Stablecoins are a class of cryptocurrencies that aim to offer price stability by being backed by a reserve asset.

15

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Are digitalization & ESG reshaping the
way businesses trade globally?
Most exporters adjust to ESG through suppliers first
and remain unfazed by carbon taxes
Global trade is and has been a strong driver of
innovation, growth and development, but it also
plays a role in deforestation, poverty and massive
carbon emissions. As the world targets carbon
neutrality to combat climate change, the future of
trade will have to become sustainable: a crossborder exchange of goods and services that
goes beyond the generation of economic value
for those involved to provide a benefit for – or at
least not harm – society and the environment.
They can embrace greener inputs, switch to less
polluting processes, select more responsible
business partners etc. Our survey shows that
the latter is the most popular strategy: 50%
of respondents say they are adjusting their
relations with suppliers, for instance by working
with more ESG-compliant firms. This was the
case especially for Chinese exporters (64%,
compared to just 40% in the UK).
At the global, regional and national levels,
trade policies and regulations are also evolving
to support environmental targets and achieve
carbon neutrality. The EU, for instance, has
proposed a Carbon Border Adjustment
Mechanism (CBAM) that will require EU
importers or non-EU producers to pay carbon
taxes corresponding to the carbon price that

would have been paid had the goods been
produced under EU rules. Canada and Japan
are also working on similar initiatives. In the UK,
tariffs on green products (low-carbon or energy
transition-related products) have been eliminated.
And yet, we find that most firms remain unfazed
by carbon prices so far: Only 36% in the three
largest EU economies (i.e. Germany, France, Italy)
state that they had to increase prices to
compensate for carbon taxes. This also reveals
that carbon prices are still too low to trigger
corporate change or increase selling prices. In
addition, our survey shows that, as of today, ESG
regulation is not shifting global trade flows: Most
respondents are not using ESG considerations
when choosing their export markets. Only 34% of
firms in China, the world’s largest exporter, say
that ESG led them to choose their export markets.
Furthermore, our survey reveals that current
carbon prices are too low to drive up the price of
traded goods, making them less effective in the
quest to reduce carbon emissions.
All this means that the ESG topic still has a
long way to go before becoming embedded in
exporters’ concerns and operations.

In which of the following ways does ESG impact your business when it comes to global trade?
Adjusting your relations
with your suppliers
(e.g. working with more
ESG complaint firms)

US
UK
Italy
Germany
France

Updating the business
terms you offer to your
clients to include ESG
elements

16

46%

49%

46%

37%

40%

41%

39%

45%

Increasing prices to
compensate for
carbon taxes

37%

35%

37%

35%
39%
47%

56%
45%

38%

35%

38%
57%

64%
50%

45%

46%

47%
44%

Increasing prices to
compenate for ESG
investments made in
the business

43%

39%

44%

52%

China
Total

Adjusting how you transport
and supply goods, services,
or components

53%
43%

32%
39%
36%

Choosing which markets
to export to

39%
39%
33%
33%
39%
34%
36%

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Insight

The future of trade must be green

Ngozi
Okonjo-Iweala
Director-General
of the World Trade
Organization
(WTO)

The world is facing an era of ‘polycrisis’ –
intersecting crises in the economy, the
environment, and in public health – which
demand multifaceted responses. We need to
reduce poverty while increasing environmental
sustainability, and we must drive the health and
economic recovery from COVID-19 by building
greener, more socially inclusive economies, and
investing in the systems needed to identify and
contain future disease outbreaks.
Trade is a key part of the solution to the challenges
we face. In fact, trade has an underappreciated
role to play in enabling a just low-carbon
transition, enhancing marine biodiversity, and
addressing plastics pollution and deforestation.
This might seem counterintuitive considering
the heavy carbon emissions associated with the
maritime shipping industry and air freight that
transport goods from place to place. But trade
can make production more efficient, which can
reduce emissions. It can also be an important
mechanism for the diffusion around the world of
new, less polluting technologies.
A better answer to the real problems we see lies
in better trade – in a better globalization, or, as I
term it, a re-globalization – one that brings
marginalized people and countries into the
economic mainstream, while helping us decouple
human well-being from environmental impact.
How will this work? First, trade can be a
powerful tool to support climate change
adaptation and mitigation, particularly for
developing countries. In the face of crop failure
and natural disasters, trade is a mechanism for
adaptation and resilience. Affected countries
can bring in food and supplies necessary for
reconstruction while domestic production
remains impaired, allowing their economies to
recover more quickly.
On the mitigation side, international competition
and the emergence of a globally integrated
solar photovoltaic (PV) supply chain has helped
make solar the cheapest source of electricity
generation in many parts of the world. Wind

energy has benefited from similar trends.
Lowering trade barriers to environmental goods
and services could reduce the costs for future
technologies such as advanced batteries and
hydrogen electrolyzers, and lower the capital
costs of building climate-resilient infrastructure.
To combat plastic pollution, trade policy
cooperation could also improve transparency,
align standards and regulations to favor
recyclability and compostability and create
markets for plastics substitutes. Countries could
lower trade barriers to environmental goods and
services required to make plastics supply chains
more circular – that is, to use plastic waste as
feedstock for making plastic – and to promote
sustainable alternatives where appropriate.
Certainly, alongside these initiatives,
collaboration between the private sector and
relevant international organizations will be
needed to reduce emissions from trade. And
climate-related trade policies must be framed
with a just transition in mind, with transition
times for developing countries to find carbon
alternatives, but also the financing for them
to leapfrog the dirty infrastructure stage and
directly build sustainable alternatives.
Trade can and must help us respond to the
problems we face in our economies, societies,
and the natural environment. Judicious trade
policy choices can help us prepare from future
risks and shocks. The future of trade is not just
services and digital; the future of trade must
also be green.

Trade has an underappreciated
role to play in enabling a just
low-carbon transition, enhancing
marine biodiversity, and addressing
plastics pollution and deforestation.
17

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Digitalization: Empowering global trade
An overwhelming majority of respondents
in our survey (over 90%) say that they have
undertaken digitalization efforts in recent years,
with the share by country ranging from 87%
in the UK to 94% in China. With the Covid-19
pandemic, this digitalization trend has certainly
accelerated, not just in companies’ business
strategies but also in working habits and
administrative processes.
From an economic perspective, activities moving
online helped to partly mitigate the overall
negative impact of the Covid-19 shock on the
global economy. Prior research from Allianz
Trade5 shows that countries with an environment
more conducive to digitalization were likely to
be more resilient when facing the first lockdowns
in 2020 as technology provided the necessary
agility to adapt to the new ways of working.
Indeed, in our latest survey, many respondents
identify the digitalization of production as a
way to adapt their exporting strategies to the
pandemic context in 2021 (60% of firms in China,
48% in Italy and 38% in Germany). Moreover,
around half say that digitalization has helped
them to increase overall productivity, reduce
costs and reach new markets and customers
that cannot easily access brick-and-mortar
stores (e.g. the growing middle-class in the
smaller cities of China).

Around half of respondents also say that
digitalization has helped them to improve the
resilience of their supply chains. In particular,
nearly two-thirds of Chinese companies are
seeing the benefits of this. Our 2020 Global
Supply Chain Survey6 already showed that
highly digitized companies are significantly
more likely to look for suppliers in China than
those that are not. This could imply that techsavvy companies are better-equipped to trade
with more remote partners, which could
potentially help them diversify and reach new
suppliers and customers.
With more than one third of respondents saying
they already use blockchain technology in their
businesses, the ways in which emerging digital
technologies can help cross-border transactions
are likely to keep increasing. All in all,
digitalization can increase the scale, speed and
diversity of global trade, allowing companies to
reach more customers and strengthen supplychain monitoring and functioning.

90%

of respondents say
that they have undertaken
digitalization efforts in recent years.

½

of respondents say that
digitalization has helped them
to increase overall productivity,
reduce costs and reach new
markets and customers.

18

5 S
 ee our report Digital-enabling countries proved more resilient to the Covid-19 economic shock.
6 S
 ee our report Global Supply Chain Survey – In search of post-Covid-19 resilience.

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Insight

The pandemic has accelerated the digital learning
and hybrid-working transformation

Christian
Greisberger
Head of Global
Risk Management
for Acer

When and how do you see the electronics
supply chain normalizing?
For the IT industry, specifically PCs, the supply
chain has been continually constrained since the
beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic as remote
working and distance learning have become the
norm. These needs, along with home entertainment
needs, triggered higher PC demand. Supply and
manufacturing-capacity optimization took place at
first to maximize the output, and in the meantime
a lot of suppliers also started to expand their
production capacity. However, ramping up supply
takes time, and resource limitations (including
human resources to improve logistic capacity
and lead-time) due to the pandemic made the
conditions worse. Logistics availability, whether
it be pricing, capacity or lead-time, has become
a worst-case scenario.
Demand is gradually returning to normal on the
consumer side, but overall commercial demand
has been continually strong since there was a
two-year delay for upgrades. In addition, the
pandemic has accelerated the digital learning
and hybrid-working transformation that would
have taken years, enabled by the readiness of
cloud infrastructure. Overall, supply issues are
easing gradually quarter by quarter.
How does a company like Acer continue to cater
electronics to the world in the current supply
chain environment? How have you adapted
your supply-chain resilience (processes,
suppliers’ diversification) since 2020?
Acer has great longstanding partnerships with
its supply chain and is highly flexible on supplychain management. We have long-term
planning and operations in place for supplychain diversification and risk management. Acer
collaborates with all members of its supply chain
with continuous testing of the quality of its
flexibility, while working closely with channel
partners and guiding customers on availability.
With these efforts, we have not only strengthened
our relationship with partners, but also improved
our supply across the supply chain, which
supported Acer’s growth over the past two
years, and will certainly help us moving forward.
In addition, even with the ongoing pandemic,
Acer has continually conducted two global press

conferences each year to launch our latest
technology and flagship products. Through online
digital events, we serve different target audiences,
including but not limited to gamers, creators and
professionals. We further put humanity at the
center of how we design and create products. On
top of our commitment to RE100 by 2035, we
have also committed to use 20-30% PCR (postconsumer recycled) plastic in our products by
2025, and required three-tiers of suppliers to
disclose their carbon footprint. We have also
launched the “Acer Earthion” (earth + mission)
platform to work with our supply chain to tackle
environmental challenges, and collaborated
with partners to integrate critical environmentally
friendly solution into devices for users.
These partnerships are not only to balance
short-term demand and supply but to position
ourselves for new opportunities for a more
responsive supply chain and deliver both
consumer and commercial products.
How did payment delays and insolvency risk
evolve and what is your take on their evolution
in the normalization phase?
All payment delays relate to supply-chain issues.
Acer does not have any buyers that pay late due
to other reasons, such as cash-flow constraints.
Acer’s collections effectiveness index for overdue
past 16 days is globally at 98% (as per Jan/ 2022).
This index is adjusted by approved payment
terms extensions, which compensate for supplychain issues such as for late deliveries or goods
not yet delivered. Acer has not had any buyer
defaults. Henceforth, Acer’s take is that once
supply-chain issues have subsided, payment
performance will normalize and be without delays.
How did Covid-19 change credit management
practices in the ACER group? Any differences
between geographies?
Acer reviews a buyer’s financial performance
and has established buyer risk grades on a
quarterly or ad-hoc basis for all risk grades as
opposed to yearly or semi-annually to ensure all
order releases are justified and in-sync with the
buyers financial health (risk grade). There are no
differences between geographies.

19

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Insight

The role of European trade promotion agencies

Christophe
Lecourtier
Director General at
Business France

How can countries help exporters to grow their
international activities? Should they do more?
Can you tell us about Team France Export?
France made the choice in 2018 to create Team
France Export to help French export businesses
with their export activities. It is a pragmatic
and on-the-ground response with a dual aim:
to increase the number of exporting small and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and midsize companies and to increase the volume
of exports. It oversees the actions of all those
whose main aim is to support French exporters.
In practice, businesses now only have one contact,
an international adviser, with access to the full
range of public offers, as well as the best offers
from the private sector, located within a onestop shop in each region. Team France Export
has signed 19 regional agreements (including all
metropolitan regions, Corsica, Guadeloupe,
Martinique, French Guiana, Réunion Island and
Mayotte). Currently, 200 international advisers
are deployed throughout France.
Between 2018 and 2021, 27,734 SMEs and
mid-size companies received support from Team
France Export with export activities/planning to
export, with 8,128 SMEs and mid-size companies
supported in 2021, an increase of 19% (excluding
trade fairs) compared with 2020.
How can the public and private sectors work
better together?
The public sector has neither the means nor the
vocation to act in all areas and the expertise
and services of the private sector (training, legal
advice, assistance with setting up, logistics,
financing and payment security, for example)
are now integrated into a collective value chain
established to meet all the needs of businesses
and contribute to the realization of their
international projects.

20

Team France Export brings together the
expertise of Business France, CCI France and
Bpifrance, along with the expertise of more
than 40 public and private operators offering
support and financing (www.teamfrance-export.
fr), as well as a permanent dialogue with 166
federations, professional associations and
innovation clusters.

How do you assess the support to French
businesses compared with other countries? Do
you think European trade-promotion agencies
could do more together?
Most European trade-promotion organizations
offer services similar to Business France. All
have also developed an online offer since the
Covid-19 crisis.
The main feature of Business France, beyond
its largest size in Europe (excluding the UKm), is
its economic model, based on fees charged to
the businesses using its export services. Many
trade-promotion organizations (TPOs) in Europe
only offer free services, and for those charging
for some of their services, the impact on the
agency’s budget is limited to 1% to 10% in most
cases. Only Business France (55%), Business
Sweden (50%) and the Spanish ICEX (20%) are
above this figure.
Today, cooperation between European TPOs
is quite strong: Business France is one of the
founding members of ETPOA (European Trade
Promotion Organizations’ Association), which
was established in 2019 and has 27 members as
of 2022.
Can you name three top business and public
priorities that, in your view, would boost
exports in the years to come?
France has more than 1,700 businesses
operating in the healthtech sector: 720 biotechs,
more than 800 medtechs and 200 in digital
health. By 2030, healthtech could generate
130,000 direct and indirect jobs and revenues of
EUR40bn (source: France Biotech).
The “ecological transition” is a sector-based area
that is, in essence, a priority for exports because
the national industry must be structured better
to transport this expertise internationally. This
broad universe includes mobility, energy
transition, digitalization and decarbonization,
and even smart cities. As such, the digitization of
B2B exchanges is undoubtedly our top priority.

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

State support: What do corporates
really expect from governments?
From lifesaver to corporate morphine?
In response to the Covid-19 crisis, governments
around the world activated a variety of
measures to protect households and firms.
To avoid a wave of bankruptcies, they made
temporary changes to insolvency regimes by
suspending the obligation to file for bankruptcy
or relaxing certain criteria to initiate one. They
also used public spending to support liquidity
and profitability, with policies ranging from
tax deferrals and tax cuts to state-guaranteed
loans, short-term work schemes, cash transfers
and equity-like injections. There were even some
cases of large-scale recapitalization (eg. in the
air transport sector).
This support was a lifeline for companies: Our
survey reveals that a majority of exporting
firms received some form of state support over
the last 12 months, especially in China (70%)
and Italy (60%). And two-thirds of respondents
confirm that this in part support helped their
business survive the crisis. About a quarter of
respondents report that they were also able to
invest in new production capacities and diversify
suppliers as a result, while about 20% say they
were able to reduce payment times to suppliers.
How can governments support companies
further? As many economies are struggling
with skilled labour shortages in Europe, 44%
of firms in France, 45% in Germany and 53% in
Italy call for their governments to implement
upskilling labor policies. Unsurprisingly, after a
few years of somewhat protectionist US policies
and a year into Brexit, almost half of US and UK
firms want their governments to deliver new free
trade agreements.

While the worst of the pandemic appears to be
behind us, our survey suggests that 50% of firms
are still hoping that financing support continues.
In fact, over 30% of firms expect state support
to fund their activities in 2022. Around half of
European exporters think financing support in
the forms of state-guaranteed loans and direct
subsidies would help their businesses better
withstand the impact of the war. This compares
to around 40% who felt the same before the
war broke out. The second most popular choice
is new Free Trade Agreements (47%, more
so among French and UK corporates) and
operational support from export agencies (44%,
more so among German and UK corporates).
In this context, we could question both
governments’ loose fiscal policy and the
potential negative “side effects” of firms
over-relying on it and perhaps not preparing
adequately for extreme risk events such as those
seen over the last two years. Financial state
support seems to have become a “new normal”
for some firms.

50%
of firms are still hoping that financing
support continues.

21

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

42%
43%

50%

36%

43%

49%
42%

50%

51%

60%

45%
50%

Share of respondents seeing government financing support as helpful for exports

40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Total
Before the invasion

UK

Germany

France

Italy

After the invasion
Source: Allianz Research

22

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Insight

The end of globalization as we know it
For most people, globalization has been another
name for across-the-board liberalization.
Starting mainly in the 1980s, governments
allowed goods, services, capital, and data to
move across borders, with few controls. Market
capitalism triumphed, and its economic rules
applied worldwide.
Jean-Pisany Ferry
Former French
Commissioner
General for
Policy Planning,
Senior Fellow at
Bruegel and the
Peterson Institute
for International
Economics7

Even before the war in Ukraine, this phase of
globalization was ending, for two reasons. The
first is the sheer magnitude of the challenges
that the international community must tackle, of
which global public health and the climate crisis
are only the most prominent. The second reason
is political. Country after country has witnessed
a rebellion of the left-behind, from Brexit to the
election of Donald Trump as US president to the
French “yellow vest” protests. As Raghuram Rajan
has put it, the world has become a “nirvana for
the upper middle class” (and of course the
wealthy), “where only the children of the
successful succeed.” Those left out increasingly
end up in the nativist camp, which offers a sense
of belonging. This calls into question the political
sustainability of globalization. The tension
between the unprecedented need for global
collective action and a growing aspiration to
rebuild political communities behind national
borders is a defining challenge for today’s
policymakers. And it is currently unclear whether
they can resolve this contradiction. Especially as
the question is now compounded by the
interference of geopolitics.

The tension between the unprecedented
need for global collective action and a
growing aspiration to rebuild political
communities behind national borders is a
defining challenge for today’s policymakers.

7 This piece is adapted from a column by Jean Pisani-Ferry first published on Project Syndicate.

What will come next? In a recent paper, Pascal
Canfin, chair of the European Parliament’s
Committee on the Environment, Public Health,
and Food Safety, makes the case for what he
calls “the progressive age of globalization.”
Canfin argues that the fiscal and monetary
activism endorsed by nearly all advanced
economies in response to the pandemic, the
growing alignment of their climate action
plans, and the recent G7 agreement on
taxing multinational firms all indicate that the
globalization of governance is becoming a
reality. Similarly, the greening of global finance
is a step toward “responsible capitalism.”
One may question the scale of the victories that
Canfin lists, but he is right that advocates of global
governance, who recently seized the initiative on
climate, public health and global taxation, have
made enough progress to regain credibility.
Progressive globalization is not a pipe dream
anymore; it is becoming a political project. But
although the globalization of governance may
appease the left, it will hardly alleviate the woes
of those who have lost good jobs and whose
skills are being devalued. Workers who feel
threatened and find protectionist solutions
attractive expect more concrete responses.
The EU’s carbon border adjustment mechanism
is a key test. By requiring importers of carbonintensive products to buy corresponding credits
for emissions permits, the EU wants to prevent
producers from evading its emissions limits
by moving elsewhere. But this is bound to be
controversial. The upcoming negotiations on
the issue will be difficult, because the state of
international relations is not auspicious. They
will be hugely important and help to determine
whether the world can find a way out of the
tension between scattered national and
regional preferences and the increasingly urgent
need for collective action.
The outcome will eventually indicate whether
the dual agendas of rebuilding economic
belonging and managing the global commons
can be reconciled. It will take time to learn the
answer. The old globalization is dying, but the
new one has yet to be born.
23

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Insight

The Canada – EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement:
resilient through the pandemic and a strong base from which
to build back better

Dr. Ailish Campbell
Ambassador of
Canada to the EU

The Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and
Trade Agreement (CETA) will turn five in
September 2022. The Agreement represents a
fundamental step change in the Canada-EU
trading relationship and represents the best in
international trade agreements. It is high-standard,
comprehensive, and demonstrated its resilience
during the pandemic: In 2020, Canada-EU
merchandise trade amounted to EUR59.2bn
– 15.2% higher than pre-CETA 2016 levels. In 2020,
trade in services reached EUR25.6bn. Of particular
note, while global trade in 2020 dropped by -8%
relative to 2019, Canada-EU exports only
decreased by -3.83% during that period.
Canada and the EU are also strongly linked by
investment. Canada is the EU’s fourth largest
investor. In 2019, the stock of Canadian
investment in the EU was EUR142.4bn,
representing growth of 24.5% from 2016. In the
other direction, the stock of EU foreign direct
investment in Canada in 2019 was EUR184.3bn,
showing +28.7% growth from 2016.
CETA is notable for its strong provisions on the
environment and labor. This makes our trade
more sustainable and inclusive, bringing benefits
to women entrepreneurs, indigenous groups,
and others who have traditionally felt excluded
from international trade. Further to
recommendations adopted by the Joint
Committee formed under CETA, Canada and the
EU have continued engagement on trade and
gender, and trade and climate action, including
the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and
trade and SMEs. SMEs are the backbone of the
Canadian economy, accounting for
approximately 99% of Canadian businesses and
almost 90% of private sector jobs. The increasing
use of preferential market access by SMEs is one
of the many hallmarks of CETA’s success.

24

I know from my former role as Canada’s Chief
Trade Commissioner that practical tools and
advice are needed to enable entrepreneurs,
especially SMEs, to make use of the advantages
in a trade agreement. The Government of
Canada has worked hard to help SMEs realize
opportunities through advisory services,
programs such as CanExport, Exporter

Solutions, and financing to help Canadian
companies expand their activities and
undertake direct investment abroad. The EU has
made many similar efforts. There is also support
available through business associations and
private sector finance and insurance. Indications
so far are promising: the number of Canadian
merchandise exporters increased by more than
500 firms between 2016 and the start of the
pandemic to a total of almost 8,300.
CETA is a cornerstone of a solid partnership
between the EU and Canada that can serve
as a means to step up bilateral efforts in other
areas like climate change, biodiversity, and
green goods and services. It is also a base
for pursuing a sustainable, people-centered,
and inclusive recovery from the pandemic. For
example, our trade and investment links are
ingredients for continuing to build strong and
resilient supply chains. As emphasized by Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau and President Ursula
von der Leyen and President Charles Michel of
the EU at the Canada-EU Summit in June 2021,
the security of critical minerals and metals value
chains is a common priority because both are
essential to transition to a climate-neutral and
digital economy and create good jobs. To foster
competitive Canada-EU supply chains, leaders
established a Canada-EU Strategic Partnership
on Raw Materials. The Summit also committed
Canada and the EU to deepen cooperation on a
suite of digital issues from artificial intelligence
to a free, secure, and open internet.
Canada wants to lead in producing the world’s
cleanest steel, aluminum, building products, cars,
and planes. We have the raw materials, energy,
skilled labor and the intangible yet fundamental
prerequisites for a resilient economy, like stability
and the rule of law, that are the means to do so.
The EU shares these ambitions, attributes, and
values. Together we are demonstrating that a
high-standard, comprehensive, and wellimplemented trade agreement like CETA, along
with our commitment to multilateral institutions,
are building blocks for shared prosperity,
environmental responsibility, and strong
economic partnerships.

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Methodology
Global trade and supply chains are still
recovering from the fallout of the global
pandemic as large-scale lockdowns in 2020,
followed by economies reopening in 2021, led to
strong imbalances. To add to this, the invasion
of Ukraine in February 2022 has added further
stress to already disrupted supply chains. In
this context, we decided to check the pulse of
companies in the US, China, the UK, Germany,
France and Italy. Two surveys were carried out:
one before the Ukraine conflict, and one after.

In terms of company size, more than half of our
respondents have more than 500 employees,
around one third have between 100 and 499
while the remaining have less than 99. In the first
survey, firms in China and Italy were comparatively
larger, with more than 70% reporting more than
500 employees. Looking at another measure of
company size, firms in our overall sample are
more or less evenly split between a turnover of
less and more than USD1bn. Just over 10% have
turnover exceeding USD5bn.

Conducted over a period of four weeks
between end-January and mid-February, the
first survey involved nearly 2,500 companies,
roughly evenly split between the six countries.
The second survey was run over three weeks in
March, involving nearly 450 respondents in four
European countries (the UK, Germany, France
and Italy).

3,000

companies surveyed

We targeted firms exposed to global markets,
either exclusively exporting or also selling goods
and services in their local markets. Sectors of
activity were selected to best represent global
trade flows and gauge as much as possible the
functioning of global supply chains. As such,
the manufacturing, machinery and equipment,
IT technology & telecommunications, logistics
and retail sectors were well represented in our
sample. Services sectors such as real estate,
hospitality & leisure or healthcare were also
included among the respondents of our surveys.

The invasion of Ukraine has
added further stress to already
disrupted supply chains.

6

countries covered

2 surveys
Before & after the invasion

25

ALLIANZ TRADE GLOBAL SURVEY

Special thanks
We would like to express our most sincere thanks to all the experts who participated in our first
Allianz Trade Global Survey:
Our economists Ludovic Subran, Ana Boata, Ano Kuhanathan and Françoise Huang, supported
by our Editor and Content Manager Maria Thomas and our research assistant Gaëlle Pécresse,
for their valuable analysis and forecasting;
Our external contributors Elizabeth Ducottet, Sandy Kemper, Christian Greisberger,
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Kelvin Tan, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Christophe Lecourtier and
Ailish Campbell for sharing their views & expertise about global trade and its future.