Hong Kong Trade, Exports and Imports


 As one of the major international financial centres, Hong Kong features a free trade economy with low taxation. Owing to the laissez faire policy, intervention from the government is very less. Hong Kong is a full member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, independently of China. To retain its place as a gateway to China, the Hong Kong government is increasing its economic integration with the Pearl River Delta. For this, the government has also signed as “the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement” (CEPA), a free trade agreement with China.

Hong Kong Trade: Impact of Recession

During the late 2000s, global economic recession led to a major downfall Hong Kong’s external trade. This was primarily due to the unstable economic condition of its major trading partners. Exports fell from $365.2 billion (2008 est.) to $326.9 billion (2009 est.). There was an approximately 30% drop in the monthly trade volume in early 2009. Retail sales saw some upward movement by about 10%, leading to an increase in domestic demand. This was mainly because of an increase in the number of tourists from China.


Due to limited natural resources, Hong Kong relies on trade to fulfill its requirements of food and raw materials, oil, natural gas and electricity. In 2008, it imported 3.36 billion cu m of natural gas and oil up to 334,900 bbl/day. However, total imports fell to $345.7 billion (2009 est.), from $388.4 billion (2008 est.). Hong Kong also re-exports its imported items, which contributes a lot to its GDP. In 2008, it re-exported 3.553 billion kWh of energy and 19,480bbl/day of oil.

Hong Kong Exports: Commodities

The following are the major export commodities of Hong Kong:

  • Electrical machinery and appliances

  • Textiles and apparel

  • Footwear

  • Watches and clocks

  • Toys and plastics

  • Precious stones

  • Printed material 

Hong Kong Exports: Partners

As of 2008, Hong Kong’s export partners included the following nations:

  • China 48.5%

  • US 12.8%

  • Japan 4.3%

  • EU 8.0%

Hong Kong Imports: Commodities

The following are the major import commodities of Hong Kong:

  • Raw materials and semi-manufactures

  • Consumer goods

  • Capital goods

  • Foodstuffs

  • Fuel (most is re-exported)

Hong Kong Imports: Partners

As of 2008, Hong Kong’s import partners included the following nations:

  • China 46.6%

  • Japan 9.8%

  • Singapore 6.4%

  • Tawian 6.4%

  • US 5%