In this Nov 5, 2021 file photo, shipping containers are seen at a port of Kwai Tsing Container Terminals in Hong Kong. The seminar on Global Economic and Hong Kong's Export Outlook was held in 2023 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.
Dennis Ng Wang-punNg Wang-pun, chairman of the HKECIC, said that Hong Kong Special Administrative Region exporters are encouraged to expand into the Chinese mainland, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other markets which are riding on the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
The extension of HKECIC s supporting measures for export businesses is expected to help reduce operating costs, even though export sales have been affected by surging commodity prices and global interest rate hikes.
According to Irina Fan, head of research at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Hong Kong exports are projected 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 fall this year, while business growth will be mainly fueled by the Chinese mainland and the ASEAN market.
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She said the latest HKTDC Export Index, which fell to 29.7 in the fourth quarter last year, said the city s exporters are cautious about the business outlook in 2023, with economic slowdown their top concern.
The index was created by HKTDC to gauge local traders' outlook on 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.
Nearly half of the respondents believe that their total sales will decrease this year compared to 2022, while more than one-fifth believe there will be an increase.
Fan said that more exporters will focus on developing new products and cash flow management in 2023, and that they will also increase marketing and e-commerce efforts.