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LegCo Secretariat releases Research Brief on "Four Pillars and Six Industries in Hong Kong: review and outlook"

The following is issued on behalf of the Legislative Council Secretariat:

     The Legislative Council Secretariat (the Secretariat) today (February 9) released a Research Brief on "Four Pillars and Six Industries in Hong Kong: review and outlook".

     The four pillar industries, comprising trading and logistics, financial services, professional and producer services, and tourism, have been a driving force of Hong Kong's economic growth for years. The Government has also identified and promoted six industries to help diversify the local industry structure. This Research Brief studies the GDP contributions of these industries and discusses the challenges ahead.

     Among the four pillar industries, the trading and logistics services industry is the largest in terms of both GDP contribution and employment. But its growth rate and job creation potentials lagged behind other pillars during 2002-2012 amid the waning trade intermediation role of Hong Kong upon the continuing integration of the Mainland with the global economy and intense competition from the neighbouring ports in the Pearl River Delta. In 2013, Hong Kong could not hold on to its place as the world's third busiest container port and lost it to Shenzhen.

     The higher-paid financial services industry is the second largest pillar industry and grew by 105% between 2002 and 2012.  Looking ahead, possible further liberalisation of the capital account and opening of domestic capital markets in the Mainland are likely to bring both opportunities and challenges to Hong Kong.

     As the smallest among the four pillars, the tourism industry grew most rapidly and generated the largest number of new jobs during 2002-2012. After years of rapid growth, the tourism industry faces the issues of capacity constraints and heavy reliance on Mainland visitors. In order to achieve a diverse visitor portfolio, there have been calls to promote non-Mainland markets, particularly high-yield long-haul markets.

     Compared with the other pillars, the outlook for the professional and producer services industry is likely to remain positive in view of the business opportunities provided by still nascent services sector in the Mainland and from serving the needs of Mainland enterprises going abroad and overseas enterprises entering the Mainland.

     Six industries, which include cultural and creative industries, education services, medical services, environmental industries, innovation and technology as well as testing and certification services, collectively contributed 8.7% of GDP and 11.9% of total employment in 2012. Among the six industries, only the cultural and creative industries have achieved a significant growth in GDP contribution and employed most people. All the six industries face challenges of their own and there is a need for the Government to enhance its support for these industries in order to help diversify the industry structure.

     The subject of industry policy falls within the policy areas of the Panel on Economic Development and the Panel on Commerce and Industry.

     This is the third issue of the Research Brief for 2014-2015 as prepared by the Secretariat's Research Office of the Information Services Division with a view to enhancing information support for Members. It is a concise summary aiming at explaining a subject matter which may be of interest to Members and the general public.

     The Research Brief is now available on the Legislative Council Website at

Ends/Monday, February 9, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:22


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