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Environmental Technologies


Environmental Technologies Market in Hong Kong (Unit: USD thousands)




2013 (estimated)

2014 (estimated)

Total Market Size





Total Local Production





Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the U.S.





Exchange Rate: 1 USD






1. Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)
2. Data Sources:

  • Total Local Production: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department & Industry Sources
  • Total Exports: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department & Industry Sources
  • Total Imports: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department & Industry Sources
  • Imports from U.S.: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department & Industry Sources

Since there is no agreed upon definition of “environmental technologies” and considerable overlap regarding environmental features from various types of machinery and products, market statistics for this sector are, at best, rough approximations.

Environmental technologies for this profile refers to the instruments and apparatus under HS codes: 841583 – air conditioning machines not incorporating a refrigerating unit; 841780 – industrial furnaces including incinerators; 842129 – filtering or purifying machinery and apparatus for liquids; 842139 – industrial use dust collectors and filtering or purifying machinery and apparatus for gases; 8479 – machinery for public works; 8543 – electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions; 870911 – Electrical vehicles; 871190 – Motorcycles fitted with an auxiliary motor, other than those fitted with reciprocating internal combustion piston engine; 9026 – instruments and apparatus for measuring or checking the flow, level, pressure or other variables of liquids or gases; 9027 – instruments and apparatus for physical or chemical analysis; 9032 – automatic regulating or controlling instruments and apparatus.

Hong Kong relies heavily on imports to satisfy its environmental needs. Total environmental technology imports in 2012 amounted to US$4.5 billion. United States suppliers are active in the high-end segment, capturing about 14.2 percent of the total import market in 2012. Imports from the United States increased from US$597 million in 2011 to US$639 million in 2012, representing a growth rate of more than seven percent.

Hong Kong is also a sourcing agent for environmental products for mainland China, where heavy green tech investments and tightening environmental regulations have emerged as major drivers of the industry regionally, if not globally. In 2012, re-export of environmental technologies to China through Hong Kong amounted to US$3.38 billion; accounting for approximately 62 percent of Hong Kong’s total environmental technologies re-exports.

The Hong Kong Government has been allocating significant resources toward tackling waste treatment, air pollution, and water pollution problems. Opportunities exist in the thermal and biological treatment of municipal solid waste, water & wastewater treatment, energy efficiency, green building and electric vehicles.

With vigorous IPR protection, and the proximity to and experience in trading with mainland China, Hong Kong is an ideal entry point for U.S. environmental companies (especially small- and medium-sized firms) interested in the China market.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects


  • Analytical instruments
  • Vehicle emissions particulate reduction devices
  • Desulphurization / De-nitrification technologies for vehicles and ships


  • Desalination technologies
  • Water filtration equipment
  • Disinfection technologies
  • Analytical instruments

Waste Management:

  • Incineration technologies
  • Biological treatment technologies
  • Recycling technologies

Wind Farm Projects:

  • Atmospheric data consulting services and instruments
  • Wind farm project consulting services
  • Wind Turbines

Energy Efficiency:

  • Instruments / automatic controls used in monitoring energy usage
  • Green building and energy efficiency training service


Hong Kong has set a target of achieving new air quality objectives by 2020. To achieve this goal, Hong Kong has set emission reduction targets with neighboring Guangdong Province of China and will enact legislation to further tighten the emission caps for power plants for the coming years. The Hong Kong government has set aside funding for franchised bus companies to experiment with electric buses and is subsidizing the testing of electric taxis, coaches and goods vehicles. The government will continue to deploy more electric vehicles and solicit support from public bodies and leading enterprises.

Hong Kong disposes of more than 9,000 tons of municipal solid waste per day. The per-capita municipal solid waste disposal rate per day was 1.27kg in 2011. Owing to landfill shortages, the Hong Kong government has set ambitious targets of reducing this number to 1 kg by 2017 and 0.8 kg by 2022, and will further encourage waste recovery and recycling of resource materials. US$65 million has been allocated for setting up waste electrical and electronic equipment processing facilities and five community green stations to encourage public participation in waste reduction and recycling. The Hong Kong government is also planning to build two Organic Waste Treatment Facilities (OWTFs) to deal with food waste and an Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) to treat municipal waste. The proposed OWTFs will be able to handle 200 and 300 tons food waste whereas the waste-to-energy IWMF will have a capacity of 3,000 tons per day.

Hong Kong obtains the majority of its fresh water supply from mainland China. To ensure a sustainable water supply, Hong Kong is contemplating the construction of a desalination plant, with a capacity of about 50 million cubic meters per annum.

To develop Hong Kong as a low-carbon city, the Secretary for the Environment is leading an inter-departmental steering committee to promote green building. Since buildings account for 90 percent of Hong Kong’s total electricity consumption, the Hong Kong government enacted the Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance, which came into effect on September 21, 2012, to promote building energy efficiency. Under this legislation, the air-conditioning, lighting, electrical as well as lift & escalator installations of all new buildings need to comply with the design standards of Hong Kong’s Building Energy Code. Furthermore, energy audits for the above mentioned installations are now mandatory for all commercial buildings.

U.S. companies could consider forming consortia to bid for the design and construction for the above major environmental projects, or becoming an equipment supplier / sub-contractor. U.S. energy service and green building consultants, as well as green tech suppliers, could consider taking advantage of this growing market.

Web Resources

Trade Shows:

Eco Expo Asia
Website: http://www.hktdc.com/fair/ecoexpoasia-en/
Description: Organized by the HK Trade Development Council, Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd. and the Environmental Bureau, Hong Kong Government, Eco Expo Asia is Hong Kong’s international trading platform and showcase for the latest environmental protection technologies.

Macao International Environmental Cooperation Forum & Exhibition (MIECF)
Website: http://www.macaomiecf.com/
Description: MIECF is a promising, new international environmental conference and trade fair held in Macao annually. The theme of the event is low carbon living and sustainable urban development in South China. AmCham Macau is a prominent supporter of the show, whose international agent is KoelnMesse.

Trade Associations

Environmental Contractors Management Association
Website: www.ecma.org.hk
Description: Membership is mostly comprised of waste management and janitorial service companies.

Green Council
Website: www.greencouncil.org
Description: The Green Council is a non-profit environmental organization promoting environmental protection.

Hong Kong Environmental Industry Association
Website: www.hkenvia.org
Description: The Hong Kong Environmental Industry Association promotes communication and collaboration among environment-related businesses.

Hong Kong Waste Management Association
Website: www.hongkongwma.org.hk
Description: The Hong Kong Waste Management Association’s members consist of organizations or individuals who advise the Hong Kong Government on the city’s waste management policies.

U.S. Commercial Service Hong Kong

Contact: Ms. Olevia Yim, Sr. Commercial Specialist
Tel: (852) 2521-1467
Fax: (852) 2845-9800
Email: olevia.yim@trade.gov
Website: www.export.gov/hongkong