In this Nov 5, 2021 file photo, shipping containers are seen at a port of Kwai Tsing Container Terminals in Hong Kong. (KIN CHEUNG / AP)
Hong Kong’s exports will continue to face huge challenges amid waning global demand, but the country’s reopening could herald a turnaround, experts told a seminar on Thursday.
Themed “Global Economic and Hong Kong’s Export Outlook in 2023”, the seminar was held by Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC), a statutory body that offers Hong Kong exporters insurance protection against non-payment risks arising from commercial and political events.
Irina Fan, director of research at Hong Kong Trade Development Council, said Hong Kong exports are forecast to grow 5 percent in 2023 with the easing of anti-pandemic measures and the resumption of cross-boundary land transport
Dennis Ng Wang-pun, chairman of HKECIC, said Hong Kong Special Administrative Region exporters are encouraged to expand into the Chinese mainland, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other markets riding on the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
Though export sales have been affected by surging commodity prices and global interest rate hikes, the extension of HKECIC’s supporting measures for export businesses is expected to help reduce operating costs, Ng added.
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Irina Fan, director of research at Hong Kong Trade Development Council, said Hong Kong exports are forecast to grow 5 percent in 2023 with the easing of anti-pandemic measures and the resumption of cross-boundary land transport.
Her remarks came after the city’s exports plummeted by 24.1 percent year-on-year in November last year, recording the sharpest drop in nearly seven decades.
Fan said demand from Hong Kong exporters’ key advanced markets like the US and Europe is expected to slide this year, while business growth will be mainly fueled by the Chinese mainland and the ASEAN market.
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She cited the latest HKTDC Export Index, which declined to 29.7 in the fourth quarter last year, saying the city’s exporters remain cautious about the business outlook in 2023, with economic slowdown their top concern.
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, close to half the respondents anticipate that their total sales will decrease this year compared to 2022, while more than one-fifth believe there will be an increase.
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More exporters will focus on developing new products and cash flow management in 2023, Fan said, adding that they will also step up marketing and e-commerce efforts.