The HSBC Trade Confidence Index has found that businesses in the trade hub of the United Arab Emirates show more confidence than their Asian counterparts in Hong Kong and Singapore. About three in four UAE traders indicated that they expected trade volumes to increase or stay the same, compared with 64 percent in Singapore and 53 percent in Hong Kong. UAE Minister of Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi attended the launch of the index and said the results reflected continuing business opportunities in the country. "It's a clear sign that the UAE continues to be a place to do business and capture growth opportunities," she said. "The UAE has taken several rapid and practical steps to cope with the implications of the global financial crisis; the Government guaranteed bank deposits and offered substantial financial facilities to banks amounting $32 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, boosting confidence in the UAE's economy and confirming the ability of country to deal rapidly, immediately and positively with the latest economic developments." HSBC Middle East CEO Simon Cooper said the UAE was not as exposed to a decline in demand from Western market as Asia, which has allowed it to escape the brunt of the economic crisis. The index collated 2,100 responses from businesses in the Middle East and Asia, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Vietnam.