HONG KONG: Hong Kong has registered a hefty 40 per cent increase in trade with India in the first half of 2017 at USD 18.3 billion, the highest growth rate among the gleaming financial hub's top 30 partner countries that include China and the US.
Calling India one of Hong Kong's biggest trading partners, Assistant Executive Director of trade promotion body Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Sophia Chong said there is a big potential for Indian market to further grow in the former British colony, which is now a Special Administrative Region of China.
Hong Kong is a "super-connector" that can provide Indian traders a "vibrant" platform to do business, Sophia added.
"Indian traders can not only use Hong Kong as a platform to connect with the local market but also with other Asian markets," she said.
"The value of bilateral trade reached around USD 18.3 billion in first half of 2017, an increase of 40 per cent year-on-year, the highest growth among our top 30 partner countries in the same period," Sophia said.
India's total trade with Hong Kong stood at USD 26.85 billion last year. India was Hong Kong's third-largest export market after China and the US with total exports expanding 47.6 per cent year-on-year to around USD 10.6 billion.
In 2016, Hong Kong imported USD 126 million of food and beverages from India. Among different food categories, seafood accounted for 55 per cent of total imports, followed by coffee, tea, cocao and spices at 13 per cent and vegetables and fruit at 12 per cent, the trade body said.
Calling Hong Kong a very good medium to import and re-export, Sophia said of the USD 126 million of food and beverage products imported from India last year, 14 per cent worth USD 18 million were re-exported to other Asian countries.