Hong Kong economy able to overcome challenges with resilience, sound fundamentals: HKSAR gov't official
Hong Kong economy will be able to overcome the challenges and remain on track for sustainable development with its resilience and sound fundamentals even if the United States takes unilateral actions to potentially cause disturbances to business sentiment in the near term, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said on Wednesday.
Yau said in a written reply to HKSAR Legislative Council lawmakers that the United States has gained much from the economic and trade activities with Hong Kong.
Over the past decade starting from 2010, the aggregate merchandise trade surplus the United States enjoyed over Hong Kong has reached around US$310 billion. In 2019 alone, the United States enjoyed a merchandise trade surplus of over US$26 billion with Hong Kong, the highest among its trading partners, Yau noted.
Yau said that in recent years, the HKSAR government, local industry and commercial sectors have been doubling efforts in diversifying markets, including focusing more on the fast-growing Association of Southeast Asian Nations economies, and economies along the Belt and Road. Further to the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, Hong Kong has signed seven free trade agreements with different economies.
In respect of strategic commodities, according to the statistics published by the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security, Yau said US exports which are subject to export control and shipped to Hong Kong under BIS Licence Exception were about US$400 to 500 million per year in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and they were mainly telecommunications and information security products and electronics.
Yau said according to the assessment of the HKSAR government, while any policy changes may have certain impact on related industries in the short term, the impact on the long-term development of Hong Kong's innovation and technology would be relatively limited.
Yau said in recent years, various I&T stakeholders in Hong Kong have been sourcing equipment and technology products from around the world, or developing related products and technologies locally. Hence, any policies adopted by individual regions should not have material impact on Hong Kong's I&T development.