Following a sluggish first half, the territory's exports are forecast to stage a recovery in the second half as the global economy rebounds, according to economists at Hang Seng Bank. The bank believes exports will have grown 6 per cent by the end of the year, compared with growth of only 4.9 per cent in the first seven months. Despite the recovery, this year's growth was dwarfed by last year's annual export growth of 14.9 per cent, the bank said. The economists argued second-half growth would be driven by 'improvement in Sino-Taiwan relations, the speeding up of tax rebate reimbursements to China's exporters and the partial relaxation of credit conditions in China.' But they warned 'several issues loom over the territory's long-term export prospects', such as 'growing protectionism resulting from the formation of trade blocs, increasing transshipments and direct shipments of goods from ports in southern China as well as changes in China's tax and investment policies'.