Results from the new HSBC Trade Confidence Index show that despite a pessimistic global outlook, Australia importers and exporters take comfort in trade with Asia, particularly China, in these tough times. "Australia is entrenched in the global economy and continues to be impacted by international uncertainty, however the HSBC Trade Confidence Index highlights the opportunity that may end Australia’s slump sooner rather than later - the link to Greater China and South East Asia," said Andrew Skinner, head of Trade and Supply Chain at HSBC Australia. One in four Australian respondents indicated that they expected global trade volumes to increase, with 47 percent saying volumes would remain constant and 28 percent seeing them declining. Skinner says China’s continuing demand through the government’s stimulus measures are likely to drive renewed trade activity. More than half of Australian businesses do business with South East Asia, and 22 percent see the region as their most promising growth opportunity in the next quarter. The index used responses from 2,100 business in seven countries, 300 from Australia, to gauge their outlook on various issues for the next quarter.