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Trade and Industry Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Brand Hong Kong - Asia world city



The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China is firmly committed to an open market policy. This policy applies to all trade, as well as to all investments in the HKSAR.

Hong Kong has become a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China since 1 July 1997. The "One Country, Two Systems" principle provides the HKSAR with a high degree of autonomy in economic, trade, financial and monetary matters. This is guaranteed by the Basic Law, which ensures that the important elements making Hong Kong an international financial centre are extended well beyond 1997. These include continuation of the capitalist economic and trade systems, free movement of goods and capital, free port and separate customs territory. Tariff preferences and other similar arrangements obtained or made by the HKSAR are enjoyed exclusively by the HKSAR. The Basic Law also provides that the HKSAR may participate in relevant international organisations and international trade agreements using the name "Hong Kong, China".

In 1986, Hong Kong became a separate contracting party to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Upon the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 1 January 1995, Hong Kong became one of its founding members. Hong Kong also became a member of the Customs Cooperation Council (subsequently renamed the World Customs Organization) in 1987 and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in 1991. The status of the HKSAR in these and other international organisations remains unchanged except that our participation is now under the name "Hong Kong, China".


The Hong Kong economy is externally oriented and highly dependent on trade with the rest of the world. In 2022, the value of Hong Kong's total merchandise trade reached HK$9,459.1 billion (US$1,207.8 billion), or around 336% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in that year. The value of imports amounted to HK$4,927.5 billion (US$629.1 billion) or around 175% of GDP. The value of exports was HK$4,531.6 billion (US$578.6 billion) or around 161% of GDP. Hong Kong was the world's 10th largest trading entity in goods in 2022 (Note 1) - 11th largest importer and 10th largest exporter.

The services sector is very important to the Hong Kong economy. It contributed to 94% of the GDP and accounted for 88% of the total employment in 2021. As for Hong Kong's trade in services, total trade in services amounted to HK$1,095.1 billion (US$140.9 billion) or about 38% of GDP in 2021. In 2022, Hong Kong ranked 23rd in the world league of commercial services trading entities - 27th largest importer and 24th largest exporter.

FACT 1 :


  • Since the reform and opening-up of the Mainland, its share of Hong Kong's global trade had increased significantly from 9.3% in 1978 to 49.1% (HK$4,648.4 billion or US$593.5 billion) in 2022. It has been Hong Kong's largest trading partner since 1985.
  • Hong Kong and the Mainland signed the "Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement" (CEPA) in June 2003, providing tariff free treatment to all Hong Kong-origin goods meeting the CEPA rules of origin, thus furthering the development potential of the trade between the two places.
  • Hong Kong was the Mainland's fifth largest trading partner (after the US, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Taiwan) in 2022, and their total trade value accounted for 4.9% of the Mainland's total trade.
  • Hong Kong was the Mainland's second largest export market, taking up 8.3% (HK$2,313.2 billion or US$295.4 billion) of its total exports in 2022.
  • The Mainland has been Hong Kong's largest supplier in goods since 1982. The value of Hong Kong's total imports from the Mainland was HK$2,077.7 billion (US$265.3 billion), accounting for 42.2% of Hong Kong's total imports in 2022. Major imports were electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment, office machines and automatic data processing machines, miscellaneous manufactured articles, and professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus, etc.
  • In 2022, the Mainland was Hong Kong's largest domestic export market, absorbing HK$23.3 billion (US$3.0 billion) worth of goods, or 37.1% of our total domestic exports. Major domestic exports were miscellaneous manufactured articles, medicinal and pharmaceutical products, plastics in primary forms, cereals and cereal preparations, and metalliferous ores and metal scrap, etc.
  • Given its strategic geographical location, well-developed infrastructure and international communication network, Hong Kong plays an important entrepot role for the trade between the Mainland and the rest of the world. In 2022, the value of goods re-exported through Hong Kong from and to the Mainland was HK$3,817.1 billion (US$487.4 billion), accounting for 85.4% of Hong Kong's total re-export trade value.

FACT 2 :


  • The Guangdong Province, with its improved investment environment, infrastructure, and proximity to Hong Kong, is an important outward processing base for Hong Kong businessmen in particular in Dongguan, Shenzhen and Guangzhou cities (Note 2).
  • In 2022, 18.0% of Hong Kong's total exports to the Mainland were for outward processing, reaching HK$462.3 billion (US$59.0 billion). In the same year, 30.7% of Hong Kong's imports from the Mainland were related to outward processing, amounting to HK$635.6 billion (US$81.2 billion).

FACT 3 :


  • The Mainland was Hong Kong's second largest source of inward direct investment. At end-2021, investment from the Mainland accounted for about 27.7% or HK$4,227.6 billion (US$543.8 billion) of the total stock of Hong Kong's inward direct investment.
  • As at June 2022, there were 251 companies from the Mainland with regional headquarters in Hong Kong. They were mainly engaged in financing and banking, import/export trade, wholesale and retail, information technology services, and transportation, storage and courier services, etc. Another 327 companies had set up regional offices in Hong Kong to oversee business activities in the region.
  • As at 31 December 2022, 32 of the 155 licensed banks in Hong Kong were of Mainland interests. In the deposit-taking business, two of the 15 restricted licence banks and two of the 12 deposit-taking companies were of Mainland interests.

FACT 4 :


  • Hong Kong was the Mainland's largest source of realised foreign direct investment, accounting for about 54.7% of the national total as at end-2021, with the cumulative value reaching HK$11,224.0 billion (US$1,433.1 billion).
  • Hong Kong's investments in the Mainland concentrate largely in the Guangdong Province. In 2022, Guangdong Province's realised direct investment from Hong Kong reached RMB$153.1 billion, representing an increase of 6.9%.
  • Hong Kong's investments in the Mainland covers a wide range of economic activities, such as information and communications, real estate, professional and business services, financial services, manufacturing, import/ export, wholesale and retail trades.

FACT 5 :


  • Hong Kong is a staunch supporter of the multilateral trading system and adheres to the WTO/GATT principles of non-discrimination and most-favoured-nation treatment. Hong Kong takes seriously its rights and obligations as a Member of the WTO. Our free trade policy applies to both merchandise trade as well as trade in services.
  • Hong Kong was once again ranked the freest economy in the world in the Fraser Institute's Economic Freedom of the World 2022 Annual Report.
  • Hong Kong does not subsidise its exports.
  • There is no tariff on goods entering Hong Kong. Excise duties are charged on four groups of commodities only (Note 3). In 2022, 0.7% of all imports were subject to excise duties.
  • Hong Kong maintains a level playing field for foreign and local companies.
  • Hong Kong does not maintain any barriers to trade.



1. Unless otherwise specified, all rankings mentioned in this factsheet are worked out with the trade values of the individual economies being considered separately.

2. Goods which undergo outward processing and claim Hong Kong origin status are strictly governed by Hong Kong origin rules. The Trade and Industry Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region operates an effective administrative arrangement whereby goods manufactured in Hong Kong, but having undergone subsidiary or minor finishing processes outside Hong Kong, can be conferred Hong Kong origin status subject to Hong Kong origin rules being fully met.

3. There is no tariff on goods entering Hong Kong but excise duties are charged on four groups of commodities, whether they are imported or manufactured locally, for domestic consumption. These commodities are certain hydrocarbon oil (motor spirit, aircraft spirit and light diesel oil), liquor with alcoholic strength more than 30 per cent by volume, methyl alcohol and tobacco (other than smokeless tobacco).


Exchange rate: According to the statistics from the Census and Statistics Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

US$1 = HK$7.832 (2022 approximate average rate)

Prepared by:
Trade and Industry Department
The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Trade and Industry Tower, 3 Concorde Road, Kowloon City, Hong Kong
Telephone: (852) 2398 5676 Website:
June 2023

While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the above information, the Department cannot guarantee this to be so and will not be held liable for any reliance placed on the same.