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Prospects for the Textile and Garment Industry in Hong Kong
published in Issue 138, November-December 2008
Hong Kong is the world’s third largest exporter of garments, behind China and the EU, and a major exporter of textiles—reflecting its favoured position as one of Asia’s most prominent trading hubs.
Textile and clothing exports stood at US$40 bn in 2008, representing 11% of total exports from the territory. Most of this trade, however, comprises re-exports of goods originating in mainland China and other low cost Asian countries.
Hong Kong’s domestic textile and garment sectors have been declining due to high manufacturing costs. In particular, labour and land costs are significantly higher than in most other Asian countries. Not surprisingly, there has been a strong trend, evident since the late 1980s, for manufacturers to subcontract operations to lower cost countries, especially mainland China.
Even so, Hong Kong still retains an important garment manufacturing industry which is the territory’s largest manufacturing activity. There is an emphasis on producing goods for the luxury market where innovation and fashion are essential attributes in attracting sophisticated international consumers. Important links have been established with some of the world’s most famous and exclusive brands.
Moreover, the textile and garment industries remain at the centre of the territory’s economy. The industries employ around 147,000 people, of whom 117,000 are involved in the export/import trade.
Looking ahead, Hong Kong will face growing competitive pressures as the textile and garment industries in other Asian countries expand and build up their design and manufacturing capabilities—and these pressures will need to be accommodated. On the other hand, business opportunities are being boosted by the ever closer business and economic links which are being developed between Hong Kong and mainland China.
Table of Contents
Prospects for the Textile and Garment Industry in Hong Kong
Development of the Textile and Garment Industry in Hong Kong
Importance of the Textile and Garment Industry to the Economy of Hong Kong
Hong Kong: Geographical, Political and Economic Profile
Hong Kong: Infrastructure
Hong Kong: Human Resources
Size and Structure of the Textile and Garment Industry in Hong Kong
Textile and Garment Production in Hong Kong
Production Technology and Machinery in Hong Kong’s Textile and Garment Industry
Markets for Hong Kong’s Textile and Garment Industry: Exports and Brands
Hong Kong’s Textile and Garment Imports
Textiles and Garments in Hong Kong: Government Policies and Foreign Investment
Textiles and Garments in Hong Kong: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
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