HONG KONG: Hong Kong has registered a hefty 40 per cent increase in trade with India in the first half of 2017 at USD 18.3 billion, the highest growth rate among the gleaming financial hub’s top 30 partner countries that include China and the US. Calling India one of Hong Kong’s biggest trading partners, Assistant Executive Director of trade promotion body Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Sophia Chong said there is a big potential for Indian market to further grow in the former British colony, which is now a Special Administrative Region of China.
Hong Kong is a “super-connector” that can provide Indian traders a “vibrant” platform to do business, Sophia added. “Indian traders can not only use Hong Kong as a platform to connect with the local market but also with other Asian markets,” she said. She was speaking on the sidelines of the ‘Food Expo & Hong Kong International Tea Fair 2017’, which hosted an Indian pavilion for the first time featuring 32 Indian food and four tea exhibitors. The pavilion was set up by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) under a MoU signed last year to promote bilateral commercial activities and to strengthen economic partnership between India and Hong Kong. “The value of bilateral trade reached around USD 18.3 billion in first half of 2017, an increase of 40 per cent year-on-year, the highest growth among our top 30 partner countries in the same period,” Sophia told PTI. India’s total trade with Hong Kong stood at USD 26.85 billion last year. The top 30 trading partners of Hong Kong include China, the US, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.
China registered a growth of 8 per cent of trade with Hong Kong in the first half (January to June) of 2017 at USD 242.33 billion and the US posted a 2.8 per cent rise in growth at USD 32.68 billion in the same period, according to the data provided by the HKTDC. India was Hong Kong’s third-largest export market after China and the US with total exports expanding 47.6 per cent year-on-year to around USD 10.6 billion. Major export items included pearls, precious and semi- precious stones at USD 5.1 billion and telecommunications equipment & parts at USD 2.9 billion, the data said. India was Hong Kong’s sixth-largest trading partner in the first half of 2017, up from seventh-largest in 2016 after China, the US, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore. India was Hong Kong’s seventh-largest source of imports in first half of 2017, with the value amounting to USD 7.8 billion at a significant growth of 30.7 per cent year-on-year.
Hong Kong’s top six sources of imports in first half of 2017 were: China, Taiwan, Singapore Japan, South Korea and the US. Of Hong Kong’s food and beverage imports from India in 2016, meat recorded the highest percentage growth, surging 240 per cent to USD 12.5 million, from USD 3.7 million in 2015, the data provided by the HKTDC said. In 2016, Hong Kong imported USD 126 million of food and beveragesfrom India Among different food categories, seafood accounted for 55 per cent of total imports, followed by coffee, tea, cocao and spices at 13 per cent and vegetables and fruit at 12 per cent, the trade body said. Calling Hong Kong a very good medium to import and re- export, Sophia said of the USD 126 million of food and beverage products imported from India last year, 14 per cent worth USD 18 million were re-exported to other Asian countries.