Containers are pictured stacked up at the port in Hong Kong before being loaded onto cargo ships on Oct 5, 2019. (ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP)
Hong Kong exports are forecast to grow 5 percent in 2023 following a 6 percent drop this year, with the easing of anti-pandemic measures and the resumption of cross-boundary land transport, according to Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
Irina Fan, director of research at HKTDC, said on Wednesday that the growth forecast for exports is not a “conservative view” but there is still room for further growth after the boundary with the Chinese mainland fully reopens.
According to the index report, exporters remain cautious, with close to half of them anticipating that their total sales will decrease next year compared to 2022, while more than one-fifth believe there will be an increase
Fan added that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations market will become a new bright spot for Hong Kong’s exporters at a time when high inflation and interest rates are weakening purchasing power and consumer sentiment in the US and Europe.
However, the prevailing global economic uncertainty has undermined confidence in Hong Kong’s short-term export outlook as the latest HKTDC Export Index declined to 29.7 in the fourth quarter, down by 3.1 points from the previous quarter.
HKTDC created the index to gauge local traders’ outlook regarding near-term export performance. A total of 500 Hong Kong exporters from six major industry sectors, including clothing, electronics, jewelry, machinery, timepieces, and toys, were interviewed for the index survey in mid-November.
According to the index report, exporters remain cautious, with close to half of them anticipating that their total sales will decrease next year compared to 2022, while more than one-fifth believe there will be an increase.
On a positive note, Alice Tsang, assistant principal economist at HKTDC, said that toy exports will be driven by new 3D virtual reality action games as well as peripheral products from movies and video games.
Exports of household appliances are also expected to pick up as many restaurants, hotels and offices have resumed normal operations, Tsang added.
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