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

Support to Hong Kong Industries

Current Situation of Industrial Development in Hong Kong

Since the 1980s, Hong Kong industrial enterprises have gradually relocated the labour-intensive production operations from Hong Kong to the Mainland or other economies in the Asia-Pacific region with lower cost of production.  The relocation of lower skilled and lower value-added activities to places outside Hong Kong with sufficient and low-cost labour and land not only helps enterprises expand their production but also releases more resources in Hong Kong for carrying out higher value-added activities, thus bringing Hong Kong's economy to new heights.  Though many production activities of the industrial enterprises do not take place in Hong Kong, the majority of the products manufactured by these enterprises are sold globally through Hong Kong.  In addition, most enterprises retain in Hong Kong the operation of the enterprise services (such as financial services and financing, human resources management, information technology, procurement and supply chain management), marketing and sales as well as production services (such as product and technology development, innovation and design, prototype production, testing and certification), with control centres based in the headquarters in Hong Kong to oversee the production activities relocated to other places.  As the manufacturing processes of such enterprises are not carried out in Hong Kong, the economic value and employment generated by the aforementioned activities locally are classified under the services sector instead of the manufacturing sector in relevant statistics.  In fact, the Hong Kong industries have brought significant contributions to Hong Kong's economy.  The Government has also provided support in various aspects, such as financing, technology and product development, testing and certification, clean production, industrial land, manpower training, brand promotion, export marketing promotion, export credit, and upgrading and restructuring, etc.

Employment of the Manufacturing Sector in Hong Kong

The employment of the manufacturing sector in Hong Kong reached its peak in the early 1980s, with nearly 1 million employees.  With the relocation of the production line to outside Hong Kong, the number of employees in the manufacturing sector has gradually decreased to about 75,500 in 2023, taking up 2% of the overall employment in Hong Kong.  According to unofficial statistics, however, Hong Kong industrial enterprises at the peak in 2008 hired about 10 million workers at their production facilities in the Pearl River Delta Region in the Mainland.  In recent years, due to various factors such as rising production costs, volatile external markets and upgrading and restructuring in production, etc, the number of employees hired by Hong Kong industrial enterprises in the Pearl River Delta Region has dropped.

Support Services to Hong Kong Industries Provided by the Trade and Industry Department

Information on Hong Kong Industries