Export Wire//July 23

This week: Shopping habits around the world, the new start-up cities, and HSBC shows exporters the love

Written by John Lorinc

Branding and the global consumer: Although we live in an era of global brands, a new survey by Nielsen of 29,000 people in 58 countries shows that there’s a lot of variation in the way people shop, especially in emerging economies, reports Inc. One of the key findings is that a far higher proportion of consumers in countries such as India and China like to experiment with new products—a finding that is critical to Canadian SMEs that are trying to launch new products into off-shore markets.

“On the average, about a third of respondents said that they often bought things they did not need and tried products earlier than others. That number jumps to 40 percent in Asia Pacific and to 39 percent in the Middle East and Africa. Some of the top countries for impulse buying were China (44 percent), India (48 percent), and Thailand (52 percent), where discretionary income is up and many more people can afford to purchase things beyond basics. In terms of people preferring to purchase and try products before others—that is, to be early adopters—the percentage in India was 56 percent, while it was 53 percent in China and 46 percent in Indonesia.”

Follow the money: New research from Richard Florida, a professor of urban affairs at the University of Toronto and the university’s Martin Prosperity Institute reveals that start-ups—along with the angel investors and venture capital firms that sustain them—increasingly cluster in a handful of tech-friendly cities around the world, reports Atlantic Cities.

[In addition to the familiar U.S. tech hubs], writes Florida, “London now ranks in the very top tier of start-up cities, [with] Toronto and Vancouver in Canada; Berlin (so much for the argument that Berlin is a lagging bohemian center with hardly any tech or entrepreneurial future), Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin, Madrid, and Barcelona in Europe; Bangalore, New Delhi, and Mumbai in India; Singapore and Sydney in the Asia Pacific region; and Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro in South America each have significant clusters of start-up activity.”

HSBC supports SME exporters: Financial giant HSBC announced last week that it will invest US$1 billion in American SMEs with export plans, says

“HSBC has been a solid contributor in supporting trade growth, as the value of US exports by HSBC clients rose to $5.5 billion in 2012, a 30 percent increase from 2011. The HSBC international loan program is part of a broader global effort by the bank to help small and medium size businesses develop and capitalize on international opportunities.”

Canadian Manufacturing, an industry blog, has extended the same offer to Canadian SMEs with revenues in the $3 to $250 million range and an interest in cross-border trading.Originally appeared on