HONG KONG, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's Export Index for the first quarter this year rebounds 4 points from the previous quarter to 39.2, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) said on Thursday.
The Export Index gauges near-term export prospects. Readings above or below 50 indicate positive and negative sentiment respectively. Nicolas Kwan, the director of research of HKTDC, noted the indices remained below the watershed mark of 50, but the expansion had been satisfactory.
According to statistics released by HKTDC, machinery is the most promising export sector, with a score of 42.2 points, followed by toys and electronics. In terms of specific export markets, Japan and the European Union enjoyed the most positive short-term market outlook, followed by the United States and the Chinese mainland.
Over half of the exporters said they had considered exploring markets in the Russian Far East and the ASEAN countries for example, HKTDC economist Doris Fung pointed out. Fung said that with rich natural resources, abundant land and generous tax incentives, Russia's Far East was an attractive destination for manufacturing investment.
With a rapid growth for online shopping generated by their young and tech-savvy populations, countries such as Thailand and Malaysia are offering new opportunities for Hong Kong traders, said Jacqueline Yuen, a HKTDC economist.