It is understood that in the 25 years from 1997 to the present, the fruit exported to Hong Kong through the Shenzhen port has increased from about 50,000 tons per year to about 200,000 tons at present, with an average annual increase of more than 5%. The variety has also expanded from conventional shelf-stable fruits such as apples, pears, and citrus to nearly 20 varieties such as lychees, kiwi fruit, and passion fruit.
Zhang Zhixiang, chairman of the Hong Kong Kowloon Fruit and Vegetables Chamber of Commerce, said, "Our fruit business is based on the market and output of fruit. I have really felt great changes over the years. For example, now the variety of fruit has increased, and many more from the mainland. Fresh fruits from the mainland are delivered to the Hong Kong market every night. The most popular fruits from the mainland are lychees, and the quality of the fruits is better than before.”
He Qingxiong, head of Shenzhen Yuxing Far East Agricultural Products Co., Ltd., said that he has been engaged in the fruit supply business in Hong Kong for more than 20 years, and it can be said that he has experienced the increasingly close integration of Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Back in the 1990s, it was unimaginable that mainland fruit arrived at the Hong Kong market on the same day. At that time, logistics, customs clearance, and storage were far less developed and convenient than they are now. It took several days for mainland fruits to be transported to Hong Kong at the fastest, so only apples, oranges and other storable varieties could be supplied.
Today, convenient road traffic, coupled with Shenzhen Customs' continuous optimization of cross-border facilitation policies, has made "fruit express" a reality. "Now that there is a collection list and convenient road transportation, Hong Kong customers place an order in the morning and the goods can be delivered in the afternoon." He said.
The variety of fruit is also constantly enriched. "Hong Kong customers want us to continue to develop, and they have placed many orders, requiring us to get better and better in terms of varieties and packaging." He expects that his fruit business will become bigger and bigger in Hong Kong.
At present, over 90% of the fruits supplied to Hong Kong have been inspected and released by Shenzhen Customs. Liang Zhuwei, deputy director of the Animal and Plant Quarantine Division of Shenzhen Customs, said that Shenzhen Customs has made every effort to implement the 18 measures to ensure the stability and quality of Shenzhen's foreign trade to ensure the safe and stable supply of fruits to Hong Kong, mainly in the following three ways:
First, from the traditionally manual inspection method to the current green channel, inspection by appointment and centralized declaration, products can be released immediately upon arrival, which greatly improves the efficiency of customs clearance.
Second, actively support enterprises to expand orchards, and start from the planting bases in Guangxi, Yunnan, Hunan and other places to help export fruit companies in the area to successfully "match" with more than 200 orchards across the country, and introduce more convenient measures to support the supply of small varieties of fruit to Hong Kong and enrich the "fruit basket" of Hong Kong citizens.
Third, strengthen supervision and guidance to improve the quality of fruits supplied to Hong Kong. Carry out a full-chain supervision model from orchard management, pest control, zoning selection of processing plants, enterprise self-inspection and random inspection by customs to improve the quality of fruit supplied to Hong Kong and the competitiveness of the consumer market in Hong Kong.
Not only fruits, but vegetables supplied to Hong Kong from Shenzhen account for more than 90% of the Hong Kong market. According to customs statistics, since 1997, Shenzhen Customs has supervised an average of 630,000 tons of vegetables supplied to Hong Kong every year. Especially since 2022, in the face of the pandemic in Hong Kong, Shenzhen Customs has made every effort to ensure a stable supply of vegetables to Hong Kong. From January to May, a total of 251,300 tons of vegetables were supervised, a year-on-year increase of 17.13%.