A sustained economic slowdown in Europe and the United States would inevitably impact on Hong Kong's economic growth, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah warned yesterday. The city's outlook for exports 'shouldn't be optimistic', with falling demand from the European and American markets, Tsang said after attending a Group of 20 meeting in Cannes, France. 'Leaders of the G20 have been rolling out a series of policies to stabilise the financial markets, yet the prospects for the global economy are still uncertain. There are no shortcuts to solve the structural problems, so I believe an economy slowdown in Europe and the US will last for a while,' he wrote on his blog. 'No doubt it will affect the global economy, including Hong Kong's. 'Due to weaker demand from the European and American markets, as well as the unseen result from investment in new markets, Hong Kong's July exports increased by just 1 per cent. Exports in August dropped 2 per cent and I expect a 10 per cent reduction for September,' he wrote. 'As for [the export figure for] the rest of the year - or even early next year - we shouldn't be optimistic.' Tsang warned of a bleak economic outlook last week, after the city's overseas shipments in September dropped 3 per cent to HK$271.8 billion - the first fall in almost two years. The fall follows a 6.8 per cent gain in August. In another blog posting by Tsang late last mouth, he mentioned that Hong Kong should be prepared for the 'ever-changing world' and should no longer focus only on the city's 'small economy'. Tsang will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation finance ministers' meeting in Honolulu on Wednesday and Thursday. Last month he was at the ceremony for the 15th Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Co-operation Symposium.