Hong Kong's exports could be on track for a rebound next year, according to the head of a local trade association. "We have been through the worst," Chinese Manufacturers' Association president Eddy Li Sau-hung said on Thursday.. His remarks came as figures showed the city's goods exports declined for the fourth month in a row and recorded the sharpest monthly drop in more than two years. The government blamed the continued slide on region-wide subdued trading and production amid sluggish global demand. "Most of the major markets remained weak," the government said. "The external environment is still overcast by considerable uncertainties, including those arising from the monetary policy normalisation in the United States." Li echoed that concern, saying member companies of the association had received fewer big orders from foreign markets than in previous years. "Orders for Thanksgiving and Christmas have come in slowly and are in smaller volume," Li said. "This month is crucial." The veteran industrialist noted late orders for the year could still help the situation pick up. Li said he believed the international market would still be challenging next year, citing the unresolved refugee crisis that Europe is struggling with as the most recent drag on demand from the major trading partner that could dampen sentiment in the coming months. But he said Hong Kong's lacklustre export performance was likely to have bottomed out. His optimism hinged on the belief that the central government would continue to introduce measures to boost the economy, thereby revving up demand for Hong Kong's exports. "The One Belt, One Road development initiative also provides ample opportunities," Li said, referring to Beijing's scheme to boost trade and infrastructure links with countries from Asia to Africa. Li said the association was planning to help member firms develop internet-based sales channels and reach out to potential international buyers. Hong Kong's exporters saw orders fall in most major markets in Asia last month, with orders from Taiwan dropping more than 24 per cent and those from Thailand falling 22 per cent year on year. Exports to the mainland fell 6.8 per cent year on year, causing the total value of Hong Kong's goods exports to shed 6.1 per cent in August to reach HK$307.3 billion. That was the biggest decline in Hong Kong's total exports of goods since February 2013, according to data from the government. In the first eight months of this year, total exports dropped one per cent compared to the same period last year, the Census and Statistics Department said yesterday.