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Trade in Services

Hong Kong’s TIS statistics cover services transactions between Hong Kong and the rest of the world in respect of the 12 service components. For details, please refer to Classification of service items.

TIS statistics are compiled based on data collected via various sources, including establishment and household surveys, administrative records and other data sources.

Establishment surveys – Information on imports and exports of services from establishments in different industries is collected from the Annual Survey of Imports and Exports of Services, and supplementary questionnaires attached to the Annual Survey of Economic Activities conducted by C&SD.

Household survey – Information on travel expenses of Hong Kong residents is obtained from the General Household Survey conducted by C&SD.

Administrative records and other data sources – Administrative records include the number of employees of extra-territorial bodies and their dependants in Hong Kong, expenditure of non-residents studying in Hong Kong, etc. Other data sources include statistics on expenditure of inbound visitors in Hong Kong provided by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, etc.

TIS is an important component of economic indicators such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Balance of Payments (BoP).

General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) (1995) of World Trade Organization (WTO) cover four modes of supply in international trade in services.

  1. Mode 1 Cross-border supply
  2. Mode 2 Consumption abroad
  3. Mode 3 Commercial presence
  4. Mode 4 Presence of natural person

Modes 1, 2 and 4 refer “Conventional TIS statistics”; and mode 3 refers “Foreign Affiliates (FATS) statistics”.

References on Concepts and Methods

Release Date

Glossary of Terms

Charges for the use of intellectual property
Charges for the use of intellectual property refer to receipts/payments on authorised use of franchises, patents, trademarks, copyrights and other non-financial proprietary rights; and receipts/payments for licences to reproduce and/or distribute intellectual property embodied in products not included elsewhere.
Construction refers to general construction work (including new work, additions and alterations, repair and maintenance), installation work and specialised services (e.g. painting, plumbing and demolition) that usually last for less than one year at sites, buildings and structures (e.g. bridges). Related construction cost is valued on a gross basis, inclusive of all goods and services involved in the work.
Exports of services
Exports of services are the sales of services to the rest of the world.
Financial services
Financial services cover financial assets dealing and broking services; asset management, investment advisory and related services; underwriting new securities; private placements; merger and acquisition services; corporate finance and venture capital services; credit, bills transactions and loans; other intermediary and auxiliary services associated with letters of credit, bankers acceptances, lines of credit, financial leasing and foreign exchange transactions; trust and custody services; financial market operational and regulatory services; and processing and clearing services of securities transactions.
Government goods and services
Government goods and services cover expenditure of employees of extra-territorial bodies and their dependants in Hong Kong or government offices abroad.
Imports of services
Imports of services are the purchases of services from the rest of the world.
Insurance and pension services
Insurance and pension services cover all types of direct insurance and reinsurance services, and auxiliary services related to insurance transactions including agency services.
Maintenance and repair services
Maintenance and repair services cover maintenance and repair work on goods owned by non-residents, including ships, aircraft, other transport equipment and machines, which is not included elsewhere. The maintenance and repair services related to construction and computers are included under construction and computer services respectively instead.
Manufacturing services
Manufacturing services refer to activities such as processing, assembly, labelling and packing on physical inputs owned by non-residents, where the manufacturing services are undertaken by processing entities that do not own the goods concerned.
Net exports of services
Net exports of services refer to the balance of exports of services less imports of services.
Other business services
Other business services include research and development, and services related to innovation activities; legal services; accounting, auditing, book-keeping and tax consulting, services; business and management consulting and public relations services; advertising, market research and public opinion polling services; architectural, engineering, scientific and other technical services; operating leasing services; trade-related services; and miscellaneous business services.
Personal, cultural and recreational services
Personal, cultural and recreational services cover audio-visual and related services; and health services, education services and other personal services.
Telecommunications, computer and information services
Telecommunications, computer and information services cover services on the broadcast or transmission of sound, images and data; computer hardware/software related services, data processing and database services, maintenance and repair of computers, system maintenance and support services; news agency services and other information services.
Trade in services (TIS)
Trade in services (TIS) refers to exports of services and imports of services. Exports of services are the sales of services to the rest of the world, whereas imports of services are the purchases of services from the rest of the world.
Transport covers activities like carriage of passengers and goods; rentals of carriers with crew; related supporting and auxiliary services; and postal and courier services.
Travel covers expenditure on all goods and services acquired by travellers for personal use from the territory in which they are travelling, e.g. expenditure on lodging, meals, entertainment, transportation within the territory visited and articles purchased. Travellers include those travelling for business and personal purposes (including study).