Hong Kong - Country Commercial Guide
Design & Construction Industry
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Table shows trade data for building materials, hardware, and equipment in Hong Kong.   

Table building materials, hardware, and equipment in Hong Kong
   2020 2021  2022  2023 (Jan – Mar)  
Total Exports   8,716,0759,851,045 6,773,538 2,691,769 
Total Imports   11,327,111 13,256,093 11,443,3074,885,669
Imports from the U.S.   432,133 434,281 364,626 161,853 
Exchange Rate: 1 USD   7.8  7.8  7.8  7.8  

Units: USD million   

Data Sources: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department  

As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Hong Kong’s construction industry is characterized by compact high-rise residential buildings and office towers.  Hong Kong developers are experts in slope and high-density design, as well as designing within tight space constraints.  The techniques of reclamation, design-and-build methods with innovative application of building materials have also made Hong Kong a regional leader. 

The U.S. Commercial Service in Hong Kong has met with several top developers in Hong Kong.  Each of these contacts has expressed willingness to have business discussions with U.S.-based architecture, construction, and engineering firms.  In addition, U.S.-made construction equipment and technology has potential in Hong Kong, particularly higher value-added products.  Interested U.S. firms should work with a local distributing company to enter the market as most construction companies will source supplies through local distributors.  However, for some major projects, Hong Kong contractors may seek relevant suppliers directly from manufacturers for specific types of products and equipment. 

Leading construction companies and developers are interested in engaging with foreign companies that understand the most cutting-edge construction and design practices.  Currently, European construction and design firms are more dominant than U.S. firms in the Hong Kong marketplace.  The U.S. Commercial Service believes that there is potential for the United States to gain market share. 

The construction industry is set to play a central role in advancing the city’s development following the pandemic.  While the global economic climate remains uncertain, the latest Budget (2023-2024) clearly indicates the Hong Kong government’s focus on long-term investments in uplifting and upskilling the construction industry to drive major real estate, infrastructure, and land development projects.

Areas of Development

Increased connectivity with the Greater Bay Area (GBA) is one of the biggest priorities for the Hong Kong government.  This is a key reason behind the many projects Hong Kong intends to execute in the near future.

One of these is the development of the Northern Metropolis, which borders on mainland China.  The Hong Kong government will initiate in 2024 tenders for the construction of multi-story buildings on three industrial sites in the vicinity of Yuen Long Industrial Estate and two industrial sites in Hung Shui Kiu.  This initiative is projected to add approximately 720,000 square meters of floor space.  Additionally, the government has commenced a planning and engineering study for the Lung Kwu Tan reclamation and Tuen Mun West area to address medium to long-term land supply issues. Alongside its focus on mega development projects, the Hong Kong government has announced the introduction of sector-specific labor importation schemes aimed at alleviating the tight local labor market.

It is estimated that in the coming years annual capital works expenditure will exceed HK$100 billion (US$12.8 billion) and annual total construction output is expected to increase to HK$300 billion (or US$38.5 billion). Please see here to access the full list of infrastructure projects the Hong Kong government is currently working on.  Along with the Northern Metropolis, these include railway projects; the Hong Kong International Airport expansion; artificial island reclamation; and a system of wetland conservation parks.

Design and Engineering Firms

U.S. construction, design, and engineering firms can partner with local developers and construction firms to bid for projects.  Many major projects are still in the planning stage and can be found here on the website of the Civil Engineering and Development Department.  Foreign construction firms and professionals, including architects, engineers, and surveyors, as well as local partners, must register with the Development Bureau to be on the approved list to be considered for these projects.

To enhance efficiency and minimize material waste in the construction sector, the government has strongly encouraged industry to engage more in automation technology, prefabricated parts, and innovative construction methods.  These include Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) to increase productivity.  In 2018, the government mandated the use of BIM for all government projects over US$3.9 million.   

Leading Sub-sectors:  

  • Green building materials and equipment  
  • Low/zero carbon design and technologies   
  • Building efficiency optimization systems and equipment  
  • Building automation and management systems   
  • Carbon assessment tools   
  • Building information modeling software and modular integrated construction solutions  


Green Building and Design:  In response to the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Hong Kong government-initiated policies aimed at achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, and these policies include investing in the development of green building.  There are over 42,000 private buildings and more than 8,000 government buildings in Hong Kong.  These buildings account for 90 percent of the total city’s electricity consumption and generate 60 percent of the city’s carbon emissions.  To save energy and reduce emissions, the government has introduced BEAM Plus, a set of strict green certification standards to drive strong sustainable building performance and it has saved over 700,000 MWh of electricity each year. 

Buildings that achieve certain energy savings with BEAM Plus or other internationally recognized standards such as LEED, BREEAM, and EDGE will be eligible for tax deductions.  The government also allows private buildings to increase floor areas when green design elements are incorporated into buildings.  With these incentives, property developers are increasingly willing to invest in green buildings.  Prominent buildings with top green rating include K11 (New World Development), Taikoo Place (Swire Properties) and the International Commerce Centre (MTR and Sun Hung Kai Properties).  These developers have established strong partnerships with foreign green design and engineering firms such as AECOM, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Arup, and James Corner Field Operations.  

Current Market Assessment  

According to ResearchAndMarket.com, the Hong Kong construction market is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 4 percent from 2022 to 2027 to reach total revenues of US$38.2 billion (2027) from US$ 31.3 billion (2022). 

The non-residential construction segment accounted for the industry’s largest proportion in 2022, with total revenues of US$20.9 billion, equivalent to 66 percent of the industry’s overall value.

Hong Kong construction industry slowed down in the past few years (characterized by a negative CAGR of 0.5 percent between 2017 and 2022), owing to several factors, namely: the Covid-19 pandemic, the slowing growth of the economy, a decrease in urbanization, continuous rise in interest rate, supply chain challenges, and labor shortages.

Many foreign construction companies are attracted to the Hong Kong market as the city also serves as a springboard to gain access to the vast Chinese mainland market and the greater Asia-Pacific region.  U.S. exporters of design and build technology and equipment enjoy a strong reputation for delivering high quality, advanced and innovative products.  They are well-known for providing sound project management skills and sophisticated engineering services.  There are several successful U.S. construction and engineering firms that participate in projects in Hong Kong, namely, AECOM (involved in over 20 major infrastructure projects), Bechtel, Cummins, Emerson, Honeywell, and Jacobs Engineering. 


Hong Kong Trade Show:


Dates: May 08 – May 10 2024

Venues: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Associations and government agencies:   
Hong Kong Construction Association  

Construction Industry Council  

The Hong Kong Institute of Architects  

The Hong Kong Green Building Council  

Development Bureau  


For more information about this industry sector, please contact:

U.S. Commercial Service, Hong Kong

Michael Wajntal, Commercial Specialist 

Email: michael.wajntal@trade.gov