Hong Kong is a major trading partner with the EU. The importance of Hong Kong to the EU as a trading partner is not only down to the volume of trade and investment between the two, but also because Hong Kong acts a connecting hub between China and the EU.
Bilateral Trade & Investment Relations
The EU is Hong Kong’s second largest trading partner after China. In turn, Hong Kong ranks 17th and 9th among the EU partners for trade in goods and trade in services respectively (2017 figures). In Asia, Hong Kong ranks 6th for goods and 5th for services. The EU enjoys a significant trade in goods surplus with Hong Kong (it's fourth largest in 2017).
The EU was the third largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Hong Kong in 2016. Hong Kong is also a major investment partner for the EU; when looking at the period 2013-17 Hong Kong ranked 5th for FDI inflow to the EU and was the 7th largest recipient of EU investment. EU companies numbered 2 200, thus remaining the largest group of foreign companies established in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong as a Key Channel for EU-China Trade
Hong Kong is an important channel for trade and investment between the EU and China, the world's largest exporter.
Hong Kong's role as a channel to China means it offers high-value opportunities for EU companies. In fact, the EU is the leading source of foreign companies using the Hong Kong-Mainland China Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA). Because of the high potential of CEPA, the EU and Hong Kong regularly communicate on CEPA developments and explore ways to maximise the opportunities for EU companies and investors. Hong Kong is also part of the Greater Bay Area initiative – which aims at strengthening the economic cooperation and integration between Hong Kong, Macao and nine cities in China Guangdong province.