Global world trade is set to grow 86% in the next 15 years, with international trade expected to accelerate from 2014 onwards, says a new bank report.

HSBC’s global trade forecast for 2012 suggests grounds for optimism for international businesses. Despite the current climate, the overall trend for international trade is positive and indicates an upturn in GDP forecasts from 2014.

Over the next five years, world trade is expected to grow at an annualised rate of 3.78%, due mainly to the earlier recovery of the overall global economy. In the period from 2017 to 2021, the forecast predicts an even more rapid annualised growth of 6.23%, as world demand for traded goods recovers its dynamism.

Countries which will see increases in their share of world trade up to 2026 include South Korea, which will replace the UK as the sixth largest trading nation due to trade expansion, particularly in infrastructure imports into the Middle East and North Africa region.

China will overtake the US as the world’s largest trading nation by 2016. China alone will account for 12.3% of world trade, HSBC predicts.

Although China’s imports and exports are not set to grow as fast as India’s, the sheer size of the trade base from which this growth is happening means that China will become the world’s trade powerhouse.

Singapore will account for 2.4% of world trade by 2026, reinforcing its role as a major shipping hub connecting the emerging economies. India will grow by 0.5% to account for 2.25% of world trade by 2026.

Overall however there are declines in the share of world trade for many of the developed world nations. Although it does not suggest a decline in the trade competitiveness of these economies, the forecast does point to a substantial shift of the global supply chain to emerging markets.

The forecast also expects to see trade expansion in the sectors that support the process of trading and drive economic growth. World infrastructure trade will increase by 110% and oil and gas by 103% by 2026.

This will be supported by growth in sectors such as rolled iron and steel bars where annualised increases in trade of 7.4% are forecast over the next five years.

HSBC predicts that companies across the world are expected to increase trade activity by 4.7%. With demand flat in many domestic markets, such as Europe and North America, businesses will seek out the best trade partners to drive competitive advantage, regardless of location.

Meanwhile, focusing on key sectors, the report suggests that the fastest emerging trade sector will be electrical energy, which is expected to grow annually at 9.14% over the next five years. This sector encompasses all energy generated from non-fossil fuel sources, representing a clear shift in the balance of world trade towards newer energy sources such as nuclear, wind and solar.

The world’s largest traded sectors including oil and gas, automobiles, plastics and petrochemicals, telephony equipment and iron and steel, are all set to grow over the next five years.

The demand for commodities and infrastructure will be fuelled by economic development while the demand for cars appears resilient, although this may change due to the market’s dependence on consumer demand, HSBC reports.