In Focus
ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Mainland China's economic growth seen to boost Hong Kong trade

The tension between China and the United States, however, may pose threats.

Hong Kong’s total exports and imports of goods each grew 30.4% and 17.6%, respectively in February, compared to the same month last year, the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) reported.

The value of total exports of goods rose to $311.1b in February, following a 44% year-on-year increase last January 2021. Imports, likewise, increased to $325.8b after a 37.7% rise in the previous month.

Taking into consideration January and February, total imports climbed 37.6% over the same period, whilst imports were up 28%.

The sharp increase of 37.6%, a government spokesman said, signals the growth momentum further picked up, alongside the recovery of global trade and production activities.

A visible trade deficit of $40b, or 5.4% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the said months. This was done to neutralize the distortion resulting from the Lunar New Year celebration.

“Looking ahead, the strong growth of the Mainland economy and improved economic situation in many advanced markets should render support to Hong Kong's exports of goods in the near term,” the spokesman said. “Yet, the development of global epidemic, evolving China-US relations, and geopolitical tensions continue to warrant attention.”

Moreover, C&SD reported total exports to Asia grew by 28.6% last month, compared to February 2020. Increases were also recorded in total exports to Korea (+51.9%), India (+41.2%), Japan (+34.2%), Philippines (+33.8%), and Mainland China (+31.9%).

Meanwhile, decreases were recorded in Singapore (-7.1%) and Thailand (-6.1%).

As for the total imports, increases were registered from Mainland China (+33.9%), Taiwan (+26.7%), Singapore (+22.7%), Vietnam (+22.2%) and Korea (+20.3%), whilst imports to the United States and Japan dropped 14.2% 8.3%, respectively.

Taking January and February as a whole, increases in values of total exports were seen in the United Kingdom (+132.7%), the Netherlands (+54.4%), Taiwan (+48.0%), Mainland China (+45.8%), and Korea (+37.8%).

Further, over the same period, year-on-year increase were recorded in the values of import to Vietnam (+49.7%), Taiwan (+44.1%), Mainland China (+37.6%), Korea (+29.6%), and Singapore (+29.1%).

Going by commodity divisions, the electric machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts increased by $39.2b (39.3%) year-on-year. Some $14.6b (37.6%) rise were recorded in telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment by $6.6b (27.1%) in office machines and automatic data processing machines and $5.3b (249.4%) in non-ferrous metals.

A decrease worth $1.9b (-22.1%), however, was recorded in power generating machinery and equipment.

Over the same period, the value of total imports of electrical machinery, apparatus, and appliances, and electrical parts increased by $31.4b (27.2%), telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment by $10.2b (27.8%), office machines and automatic data processing machines by $4.3b (23.0%) and non-ferrous metals by $3.7b (160%).

Imports of power generating machinery and equipment dropped by $4.4b (-41.7%).

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