Hong Kong’s Top Trading Partners

Hong Kong's Top Trading Partners

by Flagpictures.org

Nicknamed Pearl of the Orient, Hong Kong is a special administrative region in the People’s Republic of China located on China’s south coast.

The world’s sixth-largest exporter, Hong Kong shipped US$516.6 billion worth of products around the globe in 2016. That figure represents roughly 3.2% of overall global exports estimated at $16.236 trillion.

From a continental perspective, over three-quarters (76.3%) of Hong Kong exports by value are delivered to other Asian countries.

European importers purchased 11.5% of Hong Kong shipments while 9.3% worth arrived in North American countries.

At 0.9%, a much smaller portion of Hong Kong exports were bought by African importers.

Hong Kong’s Top Trading Partners

Top 15

Below is a list showcasing 15 of Hong Kong’s top trading partners in terms of exports sales. That is, countries that imported the most Hong Kong shipments by dollar value during 2016. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Hong Kong exports.

  1. China: US$285.5 billion (55.3% of total Hong Kong exports)
  2. United States: $42 billion (8.1%)
  3. India: $15.4 billion (3%)
  4. Japan: $15.1 billion (2.9%)
  5. United Kingdom: $11.2 billion (2.2%)
  6. Taiwan: $10.2 billion (2%)
  7. Thailand: $10.1 billion (1.9%)
  8. Singapore: $9.4 billion (1.8%)
  9. Vietnam: $9.4 billion (1.8%)
  10. Switzerland: $9.3 billion (1.8%)
  11. Germany: $8.6 billion (1.7%)
  12. South Korea: $7.7 billion (1.5%)
  13. Netherlands: $7.4 billion (1.4%)
  14. United Arab Emirates: $7 billion (1.4%)
  15. Macao: $5.3 billion (1%)

Almost nine-tenths (87.8%) of Hong Kong exports in 2016 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

Boasting a 181.8% gain in value, Vietnam led the list of top importers which import purchases from Hong Kong from 2009 to 2016. In second place was Thailand with a 61.8% improvement followed by the 153.9% gain in value for the United Arab Emirates.

Only two of the listed countries cut back on their imports: Germany (down -15.7%) and the United Kingdom (down -11.7%).

Deficits

As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.

It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports. Hong Kong incurred an overall -$30.5 billion deficit during 2016, up 33.8% from the -$22.8 billion negative trade balance in 2009.

In 2016, Hong Kong incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:

  1. Taiwan: -US$38.5 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2016)
  2. South Korea: -$22.7 billion
  3. Japan: -$19.2 billion
  4. Malaysia: -$13 billion
  5. Switzerland: -$9 billion
  6. Philippines: -$5.6 billion
  7. Italy: -$4.1 billion
  8. South Africa: -$3.7 billion
  9. Singapore: -$2.8 billion
  10. Australia: -$2.5 billion

Among Hong Kong’s import partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Hong Kong deficits with Italy (up 6,046%), South Africa (up 1,012%), Switzerland (up 440.4%) and South Korea (up 173.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Hong Kong’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Hong Kong to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.

Surpluses

Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.

In 2016, Hong Kong incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:

  1. China: US$41.1 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2016)
  2. United States: $16 billion
  3. United Arab Emirates: $5.7 billion
  4. Netherlands: $5.6 billion
  5. Macao: $5.2 billion
  6. United Kingdom: $5 billion
  7. Germany: $2.3 billion
  8. Vietnam: $1.8 billion
  9. Hungary: $1.4 billion
  10. Bangladesh: $1.3 billion

Among Hong Kong’s import partners that cause the greatest positive trade balances, Hong Kong surpluses with China (up 1,240%), United Arab Emirates (up 477.3%), Macao (up 161.4%) and Bangladesh (up 140.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Hong Kong’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Hong Kong to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.

Companies

Major Hong Kong Companies Servicing Trading Partners

Fifty-eight corporations based in Hong Kong ranked on the Forbes Global 2000 for 2015. Below is a sample of the major Hong Kong companies that Forbes included:

  • CNOOC (oil, gas)
  • Lenovo Group (computer hardware)
  • Citic Pacific (iron, steel)
  • Chow Tai Fook Jewellery (clothing accessories)
  • ZTE (communications equipment)
  • Michael Kors Holdings (clothing accessories)
  • Belle International Holdings (clothing, footwear)
  • China Mengniu Dairy (food processing)
  • China Agri-Industries (diversified chemicals)
  • TPV Technology (computer storage devices)









 
See also Hong Kong’s Top 10 Exports, Highest Value Hong Kong Export Products and Hong Kong’s Top 10 Imports

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 1, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on March 1, 2017

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on March 1, 2017

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 1, 2017