03/22/2023 Source: Xinhuanet.com
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) on Tuesday announced that Hong Kong's export index grew 9.3 points to 39 points in January-March this year.
The growth indicated a significant improvement in business sentiment among Hong Kong exporters after normal travel with Mainland resumed fully in early February.
HKTDC Director of Research Irina Fan said that as normal travel between Hong Kong and the rest of the world resumes, hundreds of thousands of high-spending mainland and overseas business travelers have been coming back to Hong Kong in recent months. She anticipated that more global buyers would visit trade fairs in Hong Kong during the peak sourcing season to replenish inventory and meet pent-up demand.
"All these developments are the pull factors for the city's trade outlook, and we expect a gradual pick-up in the second half of 2023," Fan said.
The first-quarter export survey by the HKTDC showed that 98 percent of the respondents reported positive impacts from the gradual resumption of normal cross-border travel since early January, especially from the more flexible and frequent business travel and cross-border engagements.
The HKTDC conducts the export index survey every quarter, interviewing 500 exporters from six major industries - machinery, electronics, jewellery, watches and clocks, toys and clothing - to gauge business confidence in near-term export prospects. The index indicates an optimistic or pessimistic outlook, with 50 as the dividing line.
The latest survey showed that all industry sectors saw an upturn in exporter confidence, indicating improving sentiment, with clothing being the most promising sector, up 27.7 points to 51.5 points, swinging back to the expansionary territory since the third quarter of 2011.
Following the clothing sector were toys and timepieces, which rose 19 points and 10.7 points respectively.