HKTDC Export Index 4Q23: 4-6% expected growth for Hong Kong exports in 2024

  • Demand for AI-enabled electronics components fuels market surge

Hong Kong exports are expected to grow by 4% to 6% next year – a sharp contrast to the 11% decline in the city’s export levels recorded for the period between January and October this year.

This optimistic outlook is driven by the significant increase in demand for electronic components, partly on account of growing demand for AI-enabled devices and other finished products, which play a crucial role in boosting the city’s prospects.

Commenting on the likely upturn in Hong Kong’s export performance, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Director of Research Ms Irina Fan said: “The unique properties of Hong Kong’s electronics-orientated export economy make it almost ideally positioned to take full advantage of the imminent rebound in demand for high-tech components.”

The Hong Kong Export Outlook forms part of the review of the city’s export prospects conducted annually by HKTDC Research. This wide-ranging review takes into account a wide array of factors, including many key global, regional and local economic indicators.

Light at the end of the tunnel
Despite many of the factors restraining Hong Kong’s 2023 export growth likely to remain in place next year, HKTDC Research’s confidence is based on the widespread acknowledgment that the electronics sector – which accounts for 70% of all of Hong Kong’s exports – is expected to enjoy rapid growth in 2024, partly on account of growing consumer and business demand for AI-enabled PCs.

“Demand in this sector is certain to bolster the local economy overall, ensuring that Hong Kong’s wide exporter base will be fully ready and adequately resourced to take advantage of wider global economic recovery, which is expected to come to fruition over the course of 2025,” she added.

Continuously softened sentiment in the near-term
Export growth is set to come after continuously softened export sentiment this year. The HKTDC Export Index contracted 5.5 points to 35 in the fourth quarter of 2023, indicating Hong Kong exporters have become more cautious amid rising geopolitical tensions, in particular the Israel-Gaza conflict, and sluggish external demand.

Exporter sentiment has declined across four of the six major industry sectors. Machinery at 40.3 (up 0.9 points) was one of the better-performing sectors, followed by electronics at 34.8 (down 6.0 points). Less optimistically, toys suffered the most substantial decline, falling 12.8 points to 29.4.

Based on a quarterly HKTDC survey of 500 exporters from six major industries – clothing, electronics, jewellery, machinery, timepieces and toys – the index above 50 indicates an optimistic outlook and below 50 pessimistic.

India, Taiwan and Mainland China markets promising
Sentiment in all key export markets remains below 50. However, sentiment towards India (42.7, up 10.1 points) is the most positive, followed by Taiwan (42.5, up 4.8 points) and Mainland China (39.5, up 0.9 points). Meanwhile, exporters were less confident, when it came to their export prospects to the EU (34.6, down 2.6 points) and the US (33.6, down 2.8 points).

Economic risks and geopolitical tensions concerns
Looking ahead, economic risks remain the top concern for 2024. The majority (84.7%) of respondents saw economic slowdowns or recession risks in overseas markets as the major challenge, followed by ongoing geopolitical tensions (62.5%) and rising transport costs / disruption to logistics and distribution obstructions (41.8%).

Ensuring sufficient cash flow clearly stands out as the focus for next year, with over half of the exporters intending to adopt cash flow management, significantly more than in the last survey in the third quarter this year (32%). More exporters also aim to maintain competitiveness by providing a wider range of value-added services (44.5%) and increasing marketing and promotional activities (41.2%).

HKTDC Research Principal Economist Mr Wing Chu said in addition to the common strategy of cash flow management, different industries favour various approaches. “For example, businesses in the electronics, timepieces and machinery sectors are keen to increase marketing, promotion or business matching in the coming year. Those in jewellery and clothing sectors, meanwhile, are more inclined to prioritise the use of e-commerce to drive sales growth,” he added.


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HKTDC Director of Research Ms Irina Fan (left) and Principal Economist Mr Wing Chu (right) announced the Hong Kong’s Export Outlook 2024 and the HKTDC Export Index for the fourth quarter of 2023 at a press conference today
HKTDC Director of Research Ms Irina Fan
HKTDC Principal Economist Mr Wing Chu


Media enquiries
Please contact the HKTDC’s Communication and Public Affairs Department:
Jane Cheung
Tel: (852) 2584 4137

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitionsconferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn

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