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Slowing Global Economic Growth while Trade Outlook Remains Uncertain

According to the external merchandise trade statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong SAR Government, the value of total exports of goods in October 2018 increased by 14.6% over a year earlier to HK$383.7 billion, after a year-on-year increase of 4.5% in September 2018.

Comparing October 2018 with October 2017, total exports to Asia as a whole grew by 14.1%. In this region, increases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations, in particular Malaysia (+37.9%), Singapore (+18.0%), Mainland China (+17.8%), the Philippines (+16.8%) and Korea (+14.4%). On the other hand, decreases were recorded in the values of total exports to Taiwan (-19.1%) and Japan (-8.3%). Apart from destinations in Asia, increases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular the United Kingdom (+11.6%), the USA (+10.3%) and Germany (+4.2%).

A Government spokesman noted that the external environment is subject to increasing downside risks. Global economic growth has lost some momentum lately. The impacts of the US-Mainland China trade conflicts on Hong Kong's merchandise exports are likely to become more apparent in the coming months if the conflicts drag on or escalate.

Corporate failures in major markets registered decreases in the third quarter of 2018. In the UK, a double-digit annual decrease of 21.9% was recorded when compared to the same period in 2017, while US, Germany and Japan also fell by 2.6%, 4% and 2.9% respectively.

Corporate Failures in Major Export Markets

2018 Q3
Change in 2018 Q3 over same period last year (%)201720162015

HKECIC Introduced New Initiatives to Support SMEs

The HKECIC introduced special enhanced measures in June and September 2018 respectively to help Hong Kong exporters, especially SMEs, with issues on tariffs and shipments arising from the trade conflicts between the US and Mainland China, with an aim to provide more support and protection amid the unpredictable trade issues and rising credit risks.

In September 2018, the HKECIC launched the new one-stop online credit insurance platform EC-Reach to provide timely support to back up the growth of SMEs which lack resources. Online Micro-Business Policy is available on the platform. Start-up enterprises and small- and micro-business exporters are able to purchase credit insurance online in a fast and convenient way, to insure their self-selected buyers for suitable protection, as well as to learn effective ways of risk management, enabling them to explore overseas markets safely.

For more information about the EC-Reach, please visit: www.ec-reach.com.hk.

Content provided by Picture: Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation
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