Hong Kong SAR, China flag Hong Kong SAR, China: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Hong Kong SAR, China

Foreign Trade in Figures

Hong Kong's economy is considered a model of capitalism due to its commitment to free trade, with foreign trade representing 351.7% of its GDP (World Bank, 2022). Top exports include Electrical and electronic equipment (56% of all export) as well as gold, business services, travel, transportation and financial services. Main imports include electronic equipment (53%), transportation and business services (WTO). The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is forecasting a rebound of 4.4% in the volume of exports of goods and services of the territory in 2021, after a fall of 11.5% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and an increase of 5% of its imports, after a fall of 13.2% in 2020.

Export destinations include China (57% of all export in 2021), the U.S. (7.5%), India, Japan and Thailand while imports come from China (49%), Singapore (7%), Japan (7%), South Korea and the US (Comtrade, 2021). Hong Kong was the world's 6th exporters and 8th importers in 2020 (WTO, 2021). The greatest threat to Hong Kong's trade involves tensions and tariffs between the U.S. and China (Nikkei Asian Review). The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and protests in Hong Kong may be affecting the economy (Fitch) in particular through tourism and air traffic.

In 2020, the total value of exported goods and services reached 176.7% of GDP while imports of goods and services closed at 174.9% of GDP. The trade balance, including services, was positive in 2020, reaching 6,32 million USD a 12.02% increase from 2019. The trade balance including only goods is largely negative (43.855 billion USD). Hong Kong is an externally oriented economy. In 2020, the value of Hong Kong’s total exports of goods amounted to HKD 3,927.5 billion (503.21 billion USD), while that of imports of goods was HKD 4,269.8 billion (636.60 billion USD). With regards to services, Hong Kong registered for the same year 63.78 billion USD for export and 51.02 billion USD for import. Foreign trade has slowed down in 2020 with a decrease of -0.95% for imports but an increase of +2.95% for exports. Hong Kong has no tariffs on imported goods. It levies excise duties on only four commodities which are imported or produced locally: hard alcohol, tobacco, hydrocarbon oil and methyl alcohol. There are no quotas or dumping laws.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 547,336588,913626,616577,834569,769
Exports of Goods (million USD) 516,734549,864568,456534,887548,773
Imports of Services (million USD) 74,46177,51681,48080,77350,921
Exports of Services (million USD) 98,432104,216113,049101,86463,731

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 371.8376.8376.9353.8351.7
Trade Balance (million USD) -16,704-22,927-32,272-16,066-6,018
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 7,3273,430-7656,2226,750
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 0.96.64.5-7.3-6.2
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 0.75.83.7-6.1-5.9
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 184.7187.9188.6176.1174.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 187.0188.9188.4177.7176.7

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20212022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 15.24.84.03.43.4
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 14.35.84.53.83.8

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Hong Kong is a member of the following international economic organisations: IMF, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), ICC,  World Customs Organization (WCO), WTO, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Hong Kong click here. International organisation membership of Hong Kong is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Hong Kong can be consulted here.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
China 55.2%
United States 7.2%
United Kingdom 3.3%
Switzerland 2.7%
Japan 2.6%
See More Countries 28.9%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
China 43.8%
Singapore 7.2%
Japan 5.8%
South Korea 5.7%
United States 4.0%
See More Countries 33.4%

Source: Comtrade, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

551.5 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Electronic integrated circuits and microassembliesElectronic integrated circuits and microassemblies 27.9%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 12.3%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought...Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 7.5%
Parts and accessories (other than covers, carrying...Parts and accessories (other than covers, carrying cases and the like) suitable for use solely or principally with machines of heading 8469 to 8472, n.e.s. 4.7%
Automatic data processing machines and units...Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 4.4%
See More Products 43.2%
573.1 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Electronic integrated circuits and microassembliesElectronic integrated circuits and microassemblies 29.5%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 12.1%
Automatic data processing machines and units...Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 3.6%
Parts and accessories (other than covers, carrying...Parts and accessories (other than covers, carrying cases and the like) suitable for use solely or principally with machines of heading 8469 to 8472, n.e.s. 3.6%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought...Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 3.3%
See More Products 47.9%

Source: Comtrade, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: June 2022