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.

Hong Kong exported US$550.2 billion worth of products around the globe in 2017. That dollar figure represents roughly 3.4% of overall global exports estimated at $15.952 trillion. Please note that Hong Kong’s export metrics include a sizable portion of re-exporting activity.

Over three-quarters (77.1%) of Hong Kong’s exports by value were delivered to Asian countries while 11.3% were sold to European importers. Hong Kong shipped another 8.8% worth of goods to North America.

Smaller percentages went to Oceania, Africa and Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (all around 1%).

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 2017. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Hong Kong exports.

  1. China: US$297.9 billion (54.1% of Hong Kong’s total exports)
  2. United States: $42.5 billion (7.7%)
  3. India: $21 billion (3.8%)
  4. Japan: $16.5 billion (3%)
  5. Thailand: $13.4 billion (2.4%)
  6. Taiwan: $12.3 billion (2.2%)
  7. Switzerland: $11.3 billion (2%)
  8. Singapore: $11.2 billion (2%)
  9. Vietnam: $10.3 billion (1.9%)
  10. Germany: $9.5 billion (1.7%)
  11. United Kingdom: $9.3 billion (1.7%)
  12. Netherlands: $8.2 billion (1.5%)
  13. South Korea: $8 billion (1.5%)
  14. United Arab Emirates: $7.7 billion (1.4%)
  15. Macao: $5.5 billion (1%)

Almost nine-tenths (88.1%) of Hong Kong exports in 2017 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

Thanks to a 36.7% gain in value, India led the list of top importers for purchases from Hong Kong from 2016 to 2017. In second place was Thailand via a 33.1% improvement followed by the 20.8% gain in value for Switzerland.

The sole top importer to cut back on purchases from Hong Kong was United Kingdom, down -16.6% year over year.

Deficits

Overall Hong Kong incurred a -$39.6 billion trade deficit for 2017, a 29.6% expansion from -$30.5 billion in red ink during 2016.

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 the highest trade deficits with the following countries:

  1. Taiwan: -US$30.2 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2017)
  2. Singapore: -$26.5 billion
  3. South Korea: -$24.5 billion
  4. Japan: -$19.2 billion
  5. Malaysia: -$11.1 billion
  6. Philippines: -$7.5 billion
  7. Australia: -$4.5 billion
  8. Switzerland: -$3.9 billion
  9. Italy: -$2.9 billion
  10. South Africa: -$2.1 billion

Among Hong Kong’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Hong Kong’s deficits with Singapore (up 842.4%), Australia (up 75.8%) and Philippines (up 34.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

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.

Hong Kong incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:

  1. China: US$35.1 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2017)
  2. United States: $11.6 billion
  3. India: $7.2 billion
  4. Netherlands: $5.6 billion
  5. Macao: $4.6 billion
  6. United Arab Emirates: $3.4 billion
  7. Mexico: $2.9 billion
  8. Germany: $2.6 billion
  9. Vietnam: $2.4 billion
  10. Russia: $1.8 billion

Hong Kong transitioned from a -$1.2 billion trade deficit during 2016 to a $7.2 billion surplus versus India in 2017.

Among Hong Kong’s other trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Hong Kong’s surpluses with Russia (up 206.4%), Mexico (up 141.6%) and Vietnam (up 29.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

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. Below is a sample of the major Hong Kong companies that Forbes included:

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









 
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 26, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on March 26, 2018

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on March 26, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 26, 2018