Hong Kong's trade in services statistics for 2012
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     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (February 17) the trade in services (TIS) statistics for 2012, with detailed breakdowns by service component and by main destination/source.

     Comparing 2012 with 2011, the value of total exports of services rose by 7.5% to $764.0 billion, and that of total imports of services grew by 2.8% to $594.3 billion. An invisible trade surplus at $169.8 billion, equivalent to 28.6% of the value of total imports of services, was recorded in 2012. This was larger than the corresponding surplus of $132.7 billion in 2011, equivalent to 23.0% of the value of total imports of services in 2011.

Analysis by service component

     Analysed by service component, travel was the largest component in exports of services, accounting for 33.6% of the value of total exports of services in 2012. This was followed by transport (32.5%) and financial services (15.8%).

     As for imports of services, travel accounted for 26.2% of the value of total imports of services in 2012, followed by transport and manufacturing services (24.0% and 23.4% respectively).

     Amongst various service components, the net exports of transport contributed most significantly to the overall invisible trade surplus, at $105.9 billion in 2012. This was followed by travel ($100.8 billion) and financial services ($90.2 billion).

     On the other hand, manufacturing services imported by Hong Kong in outward processing were substantial, resulting in a deficit of $138.9 billion. This was followed by charges for the use of intellectual property, which recorded a deficit of $11.6 billion.

Analysis by main destination/source

     The mainland of China (the Mainland) and the United States of America (the USA) were two main destinations of exports of services, accounting for 36.6% and 15.6% respectively of the value of total exports of services in 2012. They were followed by the United Kingdom (the UK) (6.6%), Japan (5.4%) and Taiwan (4.5%).

     The Mainland and the USA were also the main sources of imports of services, accounting for 42.8% and 10.6% respectively of the value of total imports of services in 2012. They were followed by Japan (6.6%), the UK (5.5%) and Singapore (4.5%).

     Analysed by region, for exports of services, Asia was the most important destination, accounting for 59.4% of the value of total exports of service in 2012, followed by Western Europe (17.0%) and North America (16.9%).

     For imports of services, Asia was also the most important source, accounting for 67.0% of the value of total imports of services in 2012, followed by Western Europe (14.1%) and North America (12.7%).

Commentary

     A Government spokesman noted that exports of services attained solid growth in 2012 despite a difficult trading environment, largely driven by thriving inbound tourism as well as further growth in financial and other commercial activities. As a result, Hong Kong's invisible trade surplus rose further, underscoring the strong competitiveness of Hong Kong as an international financial centre and a regional hub for business and travel.

     The spokesman further pointed out that the Mainland remained the largest destination of Hong Kong's exports of services in 2012, outperforming other major markets and accounting for around one-third of the total. Looking ahead, the strengthening economic integration with the Mainland, helped by CEPA and other facilitative initiatives, should provide further support to the development of Hong Kong's service exports. This, coupled with the nation's strategy to rebalance the economy and the new growth spots unlocked by deepening economic reforms in the coming years, should bring ample opportunities to Hong Kong's service trades.

Further information

     Table 1 presents exports, imports and net exports of services by service component in 2011 and 2012.

     Table 2 presents exports of services by main destination and imports of services by main source in 2011 and 2012.

     Table 3 presents exports, imports and net exports of services by region of destination/source in 2011 and 2012.

     More detailed TIS statistics will be given in the report entitled "Hong Kong Trade in Services Statistics in 2012". Users can download the publication free of charge at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp240.jsp) as from February 28, 2014.

     TIS is an important component of economic indicators such as Balance of Payments (BoP) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the preliminary estimates of which are compiled based on limited data and released at the earliest possible time on a quarterly basis. They are subject to revisions as more data become available. Hence, this annual release has also provided updates to BoP and GDP estimates. TIS statistics in this press release and the above report conform to BoP estimates and the supplementary tables of GDP estimates. They are not comparable with the TIS component in the main tables of GDP estimates since the change of ownership principle in recording goods sent abroad for processing and merchanting as part of the international guidelines is not incorporated in the main tables. This dissemination arrangement is of transition nature. For details of the related statistical developments, please see the "Special Report on Gross Domestic Product - September 2012".

     Enquiries about trade in services statistics can be directed to the Trade in Services Statistics Section of the C&SD (Tel: 2802 1372 or e-mail: tis@censtatd.gov.hk).

Ends/Monday, February 17, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:30

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