Hong Kong – a Platform for the Russian Far East
13 March 2012
From a regional perspective, the Russian Far East plays a complementary role to Asia as the region is rich in resources but lacks in light consumer goods such as electronics and textiles. Indeed, the region’s imports have surged 15 times in the past decade to some US$8 billion in 2010. It is expected that the region’s trade will continue to boom when the living standards of the local population improves and the tourist industry develops. Indeed, a strong connection between Hong Kong and the Russian Far East is evident from the visa-free travel arrangement and the recent introduction of direct flights between Hong Kong and Vladivostok. It is likely that Hong Kong’s role as a platform to the Russian Far East will strengthen.
Russian Far East - a Complement to the Region
It is very clear that the Russian Far East plays a complementary role to the Asian region. As shown in the charts below, Asian exports to the world (excluding exports to Asian countries) consist of mostly electronics, machinery and transport equipment (50% of total), and textiles, clothing, other manufactures and semi-manufactures (31%). These products are in short supply in the Russian Far East and they account for 37% and 31% respectively of the region’s imports from the world.
On the other hand, the Russian Far East region (and the Siberian region which can export to Asia through the Russian Far East) is rich in resources and exports mostly mining products (39%) and fuels (38%). Natural resources are what most Asian countries either lack or find more economical to import. For example, despite massive coal reserves in the northern and north-western part of the country, China relies on imports, including those from Russia, to meet the coal demand in the eastern and southern parts of China. There is also Sino-Russian cooperation in other fields of energy such as electricity, crude oil and gas. In fact, fuels currently take up 32% of Asia’s imports.
Indeed, the region’s trade has seen substantial growth. Its imports have surged 15 times in the past decade to some US$8 billion in 2010. It is expected that the region’s demand for light consumer products such as electronics, textiles and clothing will only continue to boom when the living standards of the local population improves and the tourist industry develops. In 2010, the Russian Far East region exported some US$18 million worth of goods, an increase of 55% on 2009. Imports amounted to some US$8 million in 2010, up 55% from 2009. Both exports and imports slumped in 2009 in line with the global financial crisis but rebounded robustly in 2010.
- Electronics & Electrical Appliances
- Garments, Textiles & Accessories
- Raw Materials
- Design Services
- Hong Kong
- Eastern Europe