Hong Kong's economic recovery is more stable

  Hong Kong's real GDP grew by 5.4% year-on-year in the third quarter of this year. The SAR government forecasts that the annual GDP growth will be 6.4%.

The picture shows the street view of Central, Hong Kong.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Li Zhihua

  With the further recovery of global economic activities and the stability of the local epidemic in Hong Kong, Hong Kong’s real GDP in the third quarter of 2021 ushered in a “5.4% year-on-year growth”, indicating that the Hong Kong economy has begun to fully recover.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government stated that, taking into account the actual economic performance in the first three quarters of this year, it forecasts an annual economic growth of 6.4%, which is close to the upper limit of the previous forecast range.

The Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, Chen Maobo, wrote in his blog: "Exports are strong and domestic demand is gradually recovering. From the perspective of trade and consumption-related indicators, Hong Kong's economic recovery has become more stable in the near future."

Strong export performance

  According to Ou Xixiong, an economic adviser to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, from the perspective of foreign trade, benefiting from the continued recovery of major economies and the prosperous trade in the region, Hong Kong's overall exports of goods also increased significantly in the third quarter after rising 20.5% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2021. An increase of 14.2%, exports to the Mainland, the United States and the European Union continued to show double-digit growth.

From January to September 2021, the total merchandise trade amounted to HK$7433.7 billion, which was 13.2% higher than the high in the same period in 2018.

  At the same time, the export of services also increased by 4.2% in the third quarter, of which the export of transportation services further accelerated, and cross-border business and financial activities also increased.

A spokesman for the SAR government said that as global economic activities continued to recover and the local epidemic stabilized, Hong Kong's economic recovery became more stable in the third quarter.

  Chen Maobo recently stated in his blog that this year is a "year of recovery" for Hong Kong's economy.

“Most economic indicators have continued to improve this year. This was first benefited from the very strong export of goods in the first half of the year. Afterwards, fixed asset investment regained momentum and private consumption expenditure continued to improve.” Looking forward to the fourth quarter, Chen Maobo believes that Hong Kong Goods exports are expected to continue to grow, employment and income conditions will improve, coupled with the effect of the consumer voucher program, the performance of consumer-related industries will continue to be supported, and the market atmosphere will continue to be vigorous.

  The just released Hong Kong import and export data for October has confirmed this.

According to statistics from the Statistics Department of the Special Administrative Region Government, the value of Hong Kong's merchandise imports and exports in October continued to show double-digit growth, up 21.4% and 17.7% year-on-year respectively. Exports to the Mainland, the United States and the European Union all increased significantly, and exports to other major Asian markets Exports also showed different degrees of increase.

The spokesperson of the SAR government predicts that the recovery of world economic demand will continue to support Hong Kong's export performance.

Catering retail consumption continues to pick up

  The recent epidemic in Hong Kong has basically been brought under control, and citizens have increased their out-of-home consumption. The issuance of electronic consumer vouchers has further boosted the market sentiment in the retail and catering industry.

Ou Xixiong said that consumption and investment demand in Hong Kong continued to recover steadily in the third quarter.

Private consumption expenditure recorded a substantial year-on-year real growth of 7.1%.

As business conditions improved and the volume of property transactions increased significantly from a year ago, overall investment expenditures increased by 10.8% in real terms year-on-year.

"As long as the Hong Kong epidemic remains under control, Hong Kong's economy should achieve steady year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter." Ou Xixiong said.

  The latest data released by the Census and Statistics Department of the Special Administrative Region Government on November 30 shows that in October this year, the provisional estimate of the total retail sales value of Hong Kong was 30.7 billion Hong Kong dollars, an increase of 12.0% from the same month last year.

The provisional estimate of the total retail sales value for the first 10 months of this year increased by 8.5% year-on-year.

Industry experts predict that as the end of the year approaches and the traditional consumption peak season arrives, consumption in Hong Kong will continue to grow.

During festivals such as Christmas and Lunar New Year, many merchants will launch big discounts, and catering will also launch different levels of discounts.

If Hong Kong can maintain the "dynamic reset", even if a new variant virus emerges, it is believed that retail sales will continue to grow.

  With the continued recovery of economic activity in Hong Kong, the labor market continued to recover in the third quarter.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate further dropped from 5.5% in the second quarter to 4.5% in the third quarter, and the underemployment rate also fell from 2.5% to 2.1%. Unemployment in industries such as catering, decoration, arts, entertainment and recreational activities The rates have dropped significantly.

The Secretary for Labour and Welfare of Hong Kong, Luo Zhiguang, said that as the economy continues to recover and the labor market continues to improve, the local stable epidemic and the consumer vouchers previously launched by the SAR government are expected to continue to support consumption-related activities in the short term, but they are almost frozen. Inbound tourism is still a constraint.

A spokesperson for the SAR government stated that society must strive to achieve wider vaccinations and comply with epidemic prevention measures to lay a solid foundation for a comprehensive economic recovery.

Unlimited business opportunities for development in the Greater Bay Area

  Foreign trade exports have performed strongly, the job market has further improved, household consumption has continued to pick up, coupled with the promotion of electronic consumer coupons, the momentum of domestic demand has gradually picked up. A series of favorable factors support Hong Kong's economy to continue to maintain rapid growth.

At the same time, the "14th Five-Year Plan" outline has established a new development position for Hong Kong. The construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is advancing in depth. The "Comprehensively Deepening the Reform and Opening Plan of Qianhai-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone" has ushered in Hong Kong. With new opportunities, Hong Kong's unique advantages in integrating into the overall development of the country have become more prominent.

Experts said that various industries in Hong Kong should seize the opportunities that cannot be missed and look for business opportunities in the broader mainland market.

  Recently, the Qianhai Investment Promotion Conference with the theme of "China's Qianhai Golden Decade" was held simultaneously in Shenzhen and Hong Kong. 40 key projects in the fields of finance, technology services, artificial intelligence, network security, and professional services were selected. The investment amount exceeds 86.6 billion yuan, of which there are 2 projects with an investment amount of more than 10 billion yuan, and 16 projects with an investment amount of more than 1 billion yuan. It is expected that more new momentum will be injected into the high-quality economic development.

"With the support of the central government, the governments of Shenzhen and Hong Kong have successively introduced measures to facilitate the flow of scientific research resources, capital, and the flow of people and support measures, and promote the unique advantages of the two places in innovation and technology, and jointly recruit talents for Shenzhen and Hong Kong. I believe that in the future, with the superimposed advantages and the joint efforts of the Shenzhen and Hong Kong governments, development opportunities in the Greater Bay Area will be everywhere.” said Zhong Weiqiang, Deputy Director of the Innovation and Technology Bureau of the Special Administrative Region Government.

  With the rapid development of the Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong's role as a "super contact" for the international and the mainland will also be further strengthened.

According to a survey conducted by the Hong Kong Investment Promotion Agency, 58% of foreign-funded enterprises investing in Hong Kong in 2021 are based on the development prospects of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and settle in Hong Kong.

Shi Lide, chairman of the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, suggested that Hong Kong businessmen should take advantage of their own brands to actively participate in the construction of the Greater Bay Area and at the same time develop and grow.

"This is the secret of Hong Kong's success in the past and the only way for Hong Kong to continue its development in the future."

  Wang Lingxi