The HKTDC Export Index has seen its highest reading for two years. Confidence is particularly strong in the electronics, jewellery and timepieces sectors, while the Chinese mainland continues to be regarded as the most promising market place.
Despite widespread optimism, the world trade environment has remained formidable, with US growth dampened by fiscal tightening, continued recession in the EU amid persistent debt problems, as well as weaker momentum of the Chinese economy in the first quarter. However, the external environment will likely improve somewhat over the medium term, and Hong Kong exports are expected to expand at a modest pace in 2013.
Outgoing HKTDC Director of Research, Edward Leung, says that in 20 years of coming up with economic and trade forecasts, he has ultimately concluded that understanding the entire picture is more important than simply grasping the individual figures. It was an approach that, for example, helped Hong Kong in its bid to become the leading Asian wine trading hub.