Most Asia-Pacific businesses encountered cash flow problem this year, with about 30 percent of total volume of invoices paid late, according to a regional survey issued Saturday by Atradius Group, a company that provides trade credit insurance, surety and collections services.
According to the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer survey, most customers, particularly foreign customers, took almost twice the extended payment term to pay for their credit purchases.
More than 30 percent of the respondents in the Atradius survey disclosed that maintaining sufficient cash flow levels was the biggest challenge they have had to face this year.
The survey was based on the feedback from more than 1,500 suppliers of products and services in several Asia Pacific countries including Australia, China, India and Singapore.
"Despite being somewhat insulated from the economic difficulties of Western Europe, Asia-Pacific businesses aren't completely immune. Payment default, particularly from foreign buyers has presented as much of an issue in the region as it has in other regions across the globe," said Eric den Boogert, Director of Atradius Asia.
He added that easing growth in China, political uncertainties in India and the need for structural reforms also contributed to the problem.
In a separate interview with Xinhua, Michael Frigo, Atradius' regional manager for Southeast Asia, most companies are worried about liquidity constraints and are paying their suppliers later.
Frigo said there has been an increase in the amount of invoices which remain unpaid beyond their due date.
As a result, there has been an increase in the amount of invoices which remain unpaid beyond their due date. 33 percent of Indian companies' domestic invoices are overdue, while nearly 30 percent of foreign invoices remain unpaid.
In Singapore, 34.6 percent of domestic invoices and 36 percent of foreign invoices held by Singaporean companies are overdue.
Frigo said easing growth in Asia is also contributing to the companies financial woes.
"This slowdown in economic growth is deterring some investors from investing in the region. At the same time, bank financing has been limited in the past year, contributing to the woes faced by businesses," he said.