The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) forecast on Thursday that Hong Kong exports will grow by 8 percent in value in 2022, down from the 25 percent projected expansion this year.
An uneven recovery, lingering threats from the Covid
-19 pandemic, global supply chain disruptions and logistics bottlenecks, as well as rising concerns over inflation, are expected to restrain growth, HKTDC Director of Research Nicholas Kwan said.
In the first 10 months of 2021, Hong Kong exports surged 26.7 percent year-on-year, albeit from a low base of comparison, according to figures from HKTDC.
Kwan said the remarkable growth outshone the global average, demonstrating the resilience of Hong Kong's export sector. Nonetheless, lingering pandemic and market uncertainties are likely to cast a shadow on the local export performance in the coming year.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's export index dropped 1.8 points to 37.2 in the final quarter of 2021, which indicated that growing market uncertainties triggered by Covid
-19 variants may continue to undermine local exporters' confidence in the near term.
A total of 500 local traders from six major industry sectors including clothing, electronics, jewelry, machinery, timepieces, and toys were interviewed for the HKTDC Export Index survey in mid-November. The index indicates an optimistic or pessimistic outlook, with 50 points as the dividing line.
On the bright side, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement takes effect on Jan. 1, 2022. With its phased tariff elimination, RCEP is set to further develop and integrate regional supply chains, as well as encourage production specialization in Asia. This will provide a fresh impetus for Hong Kong to fortify its role as an international trading hub, Kwan said.
The HKTDC is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's trade.