Hong Kong 2003
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Merchandise Trade Performance

With continued growth in the Mainland economy and a visible pick-up in the global economy, Hong Kong was witness to a notable growth in external trade in 2003. Total merchandise trade increased by 11.6 per cent to $3,548.2 billion. Domestic exports dropped by 7 per cent to $121.7 billion, while re-exports rose by 13.4 per cent to $1,620.7 billion. Imports increased by 11.5 per cent to $1,805.8 billion. The year recorded a trade deficit of $63.4 billion, greater than the corresponding deficit of $58.9 billion in 2002. The Appendices provide summary statistics of external trade.

In 2003, Hong Kong's largest trading partners were the Mainland of China (the Mainland), followed by the United States of America (USA) and Japan.

In 2003, Hong Kong was the world's 11th largest trading entity in terms of value of merchandise trade.


Imports of raw materials and semi-manufactures, at $654.5 billion in 2003, constituted the largest share of total imports. This was followed by consumer goods ($573.9 billion), capital goods ($481.1 billion), foodstuffs ($53.4 billion) and fuels ($35.4 billion).

In 2003, the Mainland, Japan and Taiwan were Hong Kong's major suppliers, accounting for 43.5 per cent, 11.9 per cent and 6.9 per cent of the total value of imports, respectively.

Domestic Exports

Articles of apparel and clothing accessories continued to be the largest component of domestic exports, valued at $63.9 billion or 52.5 per cent of the total value of domestic exports in 2003. At $10.2 billion, electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof came second. Other major exports items included textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles and related products; office machines and automatic data processing machines; and plastics in primary form.

In 2003, the USA, the Mainland and the United Kingdom were Hong Kong's largest markets, absorbing 32.2 per cent, 30.2 per cent and 6.4 per cent of the total value of domestic exports, respectively.


In 2003, principal commodities re-exported were electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances ($303.1 billion or 18.7 per cent of the total value of re-exports), as well as telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment ($218.8 billion or 13.5 per cent of the total value of re-exports). The Mainland, Japan and Taiwan were the main origins of the re-exports, while the Mainland, the USA and Japan were the main destinations.

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