Survey Uncovers Business Leaders' Predictions for Economic Recovery; Gauges
Timelines and Implications based on 3,500 Executive Interviews from 20
Countries

ALMONTE, ON, Dec. 4 /CNW/ - This week, international trade credit insurer Atradius, based in Almonte, Ontario, released its Global Economic Crisis Survey based on more than 3,500 interviews with executives and senior managers from companies in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The survey was designed to learn business leaders' views on current economic indicators, including:

    
    -   Viability of their businesses, industries and financial institutions
    -   Value of government interventions
    -   Business practice modifications to maintain cash flow and prevent
        payment defaults
    

"This survey provides us with a current snapshot of the global business community and our domestic economy," said Ian Miller, Country Manager, Atradius Credit Insurance, N.V., part of the Atradius Group, which manages insured trade worth more than $20 billion annually. "Economists' forecasts and insights from policy leaders are helpful, but when it comes to managing risks and uncovering new business channels in this economic environment, it is vital to understand how business decision makers are modifying their practices and planning for a recovery."

    
    Key survey findings include:

        Recovery Timeline

        -  Nearly 71 percent of global respondents expect the economic crisis
           to end in the fourth quarter of 2010. Seventy-five percent of
           Canadian respondents anticipate a rebound in business by the end
           of 2010.
        -  Fifty-four percent of Canadian respondents believe their
           companies' financial position will stabilize at the end of 2009,
           and 39 percent anticipate an improvement in their financial
           stability by this year's end. In respect to these numbers,
           Canadian optimism shows as they top the list when it comes to
           financial stability of their own companies.

        Impact on Business Practices - Canadian respondents

        -  Thirty-four percent have suffered a decrease in their access to
           financing.
           -  Canada is among the most optimistic of countries surveyed when
              it comes to expectations of failures of large banks and
              financial institutions, with only nineteen percent reporting an
              anticipated increase in failures.
        -  Thirty-seven percent have changed their credit terms, 38 percent
           have increased their use of outsourced collection services, and
           47 percent have increased the frequency of their buyers' credit
           reviews.
        -  Finding new markets or sales channels for products and services
           (56 percent) and placing a heightened focus on customer service
           (62 percent) have proven essential elements for business
           continuity, as have gaining access to financing and conducting
           staff level reviews.
        -  Twenty-four percent are considering or have begun using credit
           insurance as a risk mitigation tool.

        Government Stimulus Efforts

        -  In 17 of the 20 surveyed countries, more than 40 percent responded
           that they have experienced no impact from government initiatives
           to stimulate the economy.
        -  In Canada, 47 percent think the government's efforts thus far have
           largely been ineffective, and 71 percent think the government
           should stimulate economic growth through tax cuts and incentives
           with 68 percent reporting favor with lower interest rates. No
           other action was even half as popular as these.
    

"To effectively manage risk and capitalize on economic opportunities in this market requires an understanding of business leaders' mindset - what actions boost confidence, which in turn inspires activity and the capital gains needed for long-term investments," added Miller. "Recovery rests with our economy's business leaders, which is why these insights and this level of outreach are so significant to our business endeavors related to protecting companies from the risk of catastrophic losses and uncovering new areas of economic opportunity worthy of investment."

The full "Atradius Global Economic Crisis Survey" can be downloaded from www.atradius.com.

About Atradius:

The Atradius Group provides trade credit insurance, surety and collections services worldwide, and has a presence in 42 countries. Its products and services aim to reduce its customers' exposure to buyers who cannot pay for the products and services they buy. With total revenues of more than EUR 1.8 billion and a 31% share of the global trade credit insurance market, its products help protect companies throughout the world from payment risks associated with selling products and services on credit. With 160 offices, it has access to credit information on 52 million companies worldwide and makes more than 22,000 trade credit limit decisions daily.

SOURCE Atradius N.V.

For further information: For further information: Ian Miller, Country Manager - Canada, Tel: (613) 256-9134, Mobile: (613) 294-2186, E-mail: ian.miller@atradius.com, www.atradius.com


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