Visa has recently released the annual global Commercial Consumption Expenditure (CCE) index, which estimates that global commercial spending reached US$109.1 trillion (RM333.6 trillion) in 2011. This is the first time the spending surpassed US$100 trillion (RM305.8 trillion) since Visa created the CCE in 2004.

2011’s spending represents 12 percent growth from the $97.4 trillion (RM297.8 trillion) spent in 2010. Asia Pacific reported the largest share of global CCE spending, followed by Europe, the United States, Central/Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, and Canada. In this year’s (2011) index, Asia Pacific’s spending share surpassed Europe’s for the second consecutive year. The strongest year-over-year growth rates came from Latin America/Caribbean region (19.4 percent), followed by Central/Eastern Europe, Middle East Africa region (17.4 percent) and Asia Pacific region (14.9 percent).

“Strong growth that has been fuelling the Asia Pacific economy over the past few years is now being reflected as part of commercial spend which has already outpaced Europe and USA,” said Pradeep Roy, Head of Commercial and Prepaid Products, Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, Visa.

“Underneath this growth lies a clear opportunity for financial institutions to optimize their commercial card programs to capture more spending with electronic payments and ultimately better meet the needs of their commercial and government clients.”

The top five Asia Pacific markets in size of total spending were China (US$12.3 trillion), Japan (US$11.7 trillion), India (US$3.9 trillion), South Korea (US$2.8 trillion) and Australia (US$2 trillion). Malaysia is ranked 10th among the Asia Pacific countries, recording a total of US$404 billion (RM1.2 trillion) in commercial spending for 2011, an increase of 24 percent from the year before.

Stuart Tomlinson, country manager for Malaysia, Visa, said: “There is a significant increase in Malaysia’s estimated growth in commercial spending for 2011, with a 20 percent increase year-on-year, surpassing many of the Asia Pacific countries. With increased commercial spending, businesses will need to find efficient ways to track expenses manage cash flow and keep costs in control. This is why demand for commercial payment solutions such as the Visa business card and Visa purchasing card are becoming the preferred choice to help businesses big or small to simplify bookkeeping.”