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HK representatives call for more support to access mainland market amid hard-hit exports by weak global demand

03/13/2023 Source: Global Times

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A ferry with flags marking the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland sails at the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, south China, June 22, 2022. Photo:Xinhua

A ferry with flags marking the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland sails at the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, south China, June 22, 2022. Photo:Xinhua

As Hong Kong exports have been hit hard by weak global demand and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, industry representatives and national political advisors from Hong Kong have called for more supportive policies to help Hong Kong businesses better access the mainland market.

Johnny Ng Kit-chong, chairman of the board of directors of Goldford Group, and also a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), stressed in his proposal, shared with the Global Times on Saturday, the need to help Hong Kong manufacturers adapt to the mainland market, reducing their reliance on the European and US markets.

After the Chinese mainland fully resumed normal travel with Hong Kong in early February, economic activities, tourism, and business exchanges between the mainland and Hong Kong have become increasingly active. As the Government Work Report released in this year's two sessions, which prioritized the recovery and growth of consumer spending as main tasks, by integrating into the country's overall development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong will be able to leverage a historic opportunity in terms of switching to and expanding domestic sales, Ng told the Global Times.

"In the past, many of our members engaged in export businesses relied heavily on the US and European markets. But after taking hit from weak demand in their traditional markets, US-China trade disputes, and the global pandemic, there is a growing awareness among Hong Kong businesses that they can no longer rely on a single market," Allen Shi Lop Tak, president of the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, said recently.

Hong Kong's exports dropped 36.7 percent year-on-year in January, the biggest drop in seven decades, according to data from the Census and Statistics Department.

But Hong Kong Finance Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said the Hong Kong economy is expected to grow 3.5 to 5.5 percent this year, thanks to the recovery of the Chinese mainland economy.

Although many Hong Kong manufacturers are accelerating the pace of "switching from exports to domestic sales," they lack the knowledge about the mainland market when it comes for customer habits, sales and promotion channels, so there is strong demand for relevant professional services, according to Ng.

Ng suggested that relevant authorities need to support Hong Kong businesses to understand the mainland market, establish sales networks, and reduce risks.

Ng also called for further relaxation of rules for domestic sales of products made by Hong Kong companies, allowing Hong Kong products to enjoy greater access to the mainland market.

Jimmy NG Wing-ka, a deputy to the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) and vice-president of the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, also put forward proposals, which called for further promoting the development of Hong Kong businesses in the mainland, such as strengthening the application of credit information sharing and accelerating the trademark cooperation between Hong Kong and the mainland to help Hong Kong companies better integrate into the overall development of the country.


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