Hong Kong exported US$611.5 billion worth of goods around the world in 2022.
That dollar metric reflects a 7.4% increase in Hong Kong’s export sales compared to $569.1 billion during 2018.
Year over year, Hong Kong’s export sales dropped by -9% from $672.2 billion in 2021.
Hong Kong is a trading hub heavily involved in re-exporting products from other competitors. Even though it is a relatively small geographic entity, Hong Kong exports (or re-exports) 3.8% of all globally exported products based on available data from 2021.
The top 5 countries buying products exported from Hong Kong are mainland China, United States of America, India, Taiwan and Vietnam. Collectively, that quintet of leading customers approached three-quarters (73%) of Hong Kong’s total shipments by value during 2022.
Applying a continental lens, 81.4% of Hong Kong’s exports by value was delivered to fellow Asian countries while 8.8% was sold to importers in Europe. Hong Kong shipped another 7.5% worth of goods to North America.
Smaller percentages were sent to customers in Latin America (0.9%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Oceania (0.8%) led by Australia, then Africa (0.6%).
Hong Kong’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 25 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 2022. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Hong Kong exports.
- mainland China: US$351 billion (57.4% of Hong Kong’s total exports)
- United States: $38.2 billion (6.2%)
- India: $22.5 billion (3.7%)
- Taiwan: $20.1 billion (3.3%)
- Vietnam: $14.4 billion (2.4%)
- Japan: $13.1 billion (2.1%)
- United Arab Emirates: $13 billion (2.1%)
- Singapore: $12.2 billion (2%)
- South Korea: $10.5 billion (1.7%)
- Netherlands: $10.2 billion (1.7%)
- Thailand: $10.1 billion (1.7%)
- Germany: $8.5 billion (1.4%)
- Macao: $7.8 billion (1.3%)
- United Kingdom: $6.3 billion (1%)
- Malaysia: $5.7 billion (0.9%)
- Mexico: $5.4 billion (0.9%)
- Switzerland: $4.5 billion (0.7%)
- Philippines: $4.4 billion (0.7%)
- Australia: $4.3 billion (0.7%)
- France: $3.9 billion (0.6%)
- Indonesia: $3.6 billion (0.6%)
- Italy: $3.2 billion (0.5%)
- Russia: $2.39 billion (0.4%)
- Brazil: $2.36 billion (0.4%)
- Canada: $2.1 billion (0.3%)
Well over nine-tenths (94.4%) of revenues from Hong Kong’s exports in 2022 were from the above 25 trade partners.
Posting double-digit increases in their purchases of exports from Hong Kong were the United Arab Emirates (up 30.9% from 2021), India (up 28.4%), Singapore (up 15.1%) then Malaysia (up 10.2%).
The severest year-over-year reductions in purchases of exports from Hong Kong belonged to Russia (down -52% from 2021), United Kingdom (down -37.7%), Switzerland (down -27.4%), France (down -19.5%) and Japan (down -14.6%).
Countries Driving Hong Kong’s Greatest Trade Deficits
Hong Kong recorded an overall -$57.6 billion trade deficit for 2022, increasing by 37.7% from -$41.8 billion one year earlier in 2021.
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.
- Taiwan: -US$55.7 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2022)
- Singapore: -$39.2 billion
- South Korea: -$26.9 billion
- Japan: -$22.3 billion
- Malaysia: -$17 billion
- United Kingdom: -$10.7 billion
- Philippines: -$9 billion
- Switzerland: -$5.1 billion
- Vietnam: -$3.9 billion
- Thailand: -$2.5 billion
Among Hong Kong’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Hong Kong’s deficits with Vietnam (up 126.2%), Philippines (up 19.7%) and Taiwan (up 7.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
In addition, Hong Kong went from an $1.4 billion surplus trading with Switzerland in 2021 to the multi-billion dollar deficit listed above.
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.
Countries Creating Hong Kong’s Greatest 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.
- mainland China: US$82.7 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2022)
- India: $12.2 billion
- United States of America: $9.9 billion
- Netherlands: $8.2 billion
- Macao: $6.6 billion
- Mexico: $4.8 billion
- United Arab Emirates: $3 billion
- Hungary: $1.6 billion
- Germany: $1.5 billion
- Poland: $1.4 billion
Among Hong Kong’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Hong Kong’s surpluses with India (up 72.6%), Hungary (up 5.6%) and Mexico (up 4.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
In addition, Hong Kong’s trading with the United Arab Emirates reversed a -$315.3 million deficit in 2021 to posting the significant surplus listed above.
Major Hong Kong Export Companies
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 China’s Top 10 Imports, China’s Top Trading Partners, Top Chinese Trade Balances, China’s Top 10 Major Export Companies, Hong Kong’s Top 10 Exports and Hong Kong’s Top 10 Imports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on April 24, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 24, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 24, 2023
Wikipedia, Hong Kong. Accessed on April 24, 2023
Wikipedia, List of companies of Hong Kong. Accessed on April 24, 2023
Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on April 24, 2023