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A Supportive Government

Hong Kong will capitalise on the opportunities arising from the national Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area development proactively and holistically. The government shall play the role of a “facilitator” and “promoter”.

Key initiatives announced in the 2019/20 Budget include:

  • Provide a 50 percent profits tax concession to marine insurance businesses
  • Set aside $5.5 billion for the development of Cyberport 5 to accommodate more technology companies and start-ups
  • Set aside $16 billion for universities to enhance or refurbish campus facilities, in particular those for R&D
  • Inject $20 billion into the Research Endowment Fund for more research projects
  • Establish two innovative clusters in the Science Park focusing on “A.I. and robotic technologies” and “healthcare technologies”
  • Launch the $2 billion Re-industrialisation Funding Scheme in 2019
  • Expand the Corporate Venture Fund of the Science Park to $200 million
  • Allocate $800 million to support R&D by universities, key laboratories and engineering research centres
  • Inject $1 billion into the Film Development Fund
  • Allocate $150 million to support the development of an online international dispute resolution platform by NGOs
  • Issue the first batch of government green bonds
  • Provide a $400 million seed capital for the Financial Reporting Council
  • Allocate $353 million for the continued implementation of the Development Blueprint for Hong Kong’s Tourism Industry

Key initiatives announced in the 2018 Policy Address include:

Diversified Economy

  • Enhance the status of Hong Kong as an international commerce and trading centre by signing more bilateral and multilateral agreements
  • Fully participate in and contribute to the Belt and Road Initiative to generate new impetus for economic development
  • Establish a Steering Committee for the Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area for the overall co-ordination of participation in the development
     

Innovation and Technology

  • Inject $20 billion into the Research Endowment Fund of the Research Grants Council; launch a $3 billion Research Matching Grant Scheme; and introduce fellowship schemes for outstanding academics to strengthen the pool of talent in research and innovation and technology in Hong Kong
  • Expedite re-industrialisation by establishing a $2 billion re-industrialisation funding scheme to subsidise manufacturers to set up smart production lines in Hong Kong and allocating $2 billion for building manufacturing facilities required by the advanced manufacturing sector in industrial estates
     

Transportation Services and Logistics

  • Formulate tax measures to foster ship leasing business; provide tax concessions for the marine insurance sector; support Hong Kong to provide dispute resolution services to the global maritime industry; and inject $200 million into the Maritime and Aviation Training Fund
     

Financial Services

  • Issue the first batch of virtual banking licences in 2019
     

Telecommunications

  • Proactively open up appropriate government premises for the installation of 5G base stations by mobile service operators
     

Creative Industry

  • Inject $1 billion into the Film Development Fund to nurture talent, enhance local film production, expand markets and build up audiences
     

The Government of Hong Kong SAR is also committed to driving local business through a variety of initiatives.      

Funding Schemes
Different schemes have been established to assist companies wishing to set up or expand.   

SME Funding Schemes: The scheme provides financial assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) looking to expand their markets outside of Hong Kong. 

Technology and Innovation Funding: The Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) provides support for businesses which adopt innovative ideas and implement modern technology. 

Universities and research institutions in Hong Kong can apply for science and technology funding of the Central Government and use the funding here in Hong Kong. 
 

Incubation Programmes
Various programmes have been developed to provide comprehensive support for businesses. 

The Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks have three incubation programmes for start-ups in the field of web and mobile technology, technology and biotechnology. The schemes provide subsidised office space, consultancy services, investment matching and financial aid packages.  

The Design Incubation Programme (DIP) provides incubates with office space and other professional support such as business knowledge enrichment programmes and mentorships. 

The Cyberport Incubation Programme includes financial assistance and rent-free working space as well as other subsidised services.
 

Technology Talent Admission Scheme
The Government of Hong Kong SAR announced in May 2018 to launch the Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS) to meet the demand for talent in the innovation and technology sector. The scheme will fast-track the admission of overseas and Mainland research and development talent and will run on a pilot basis for three years. Under the pilot scheme, tenants and incubates of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC) and Hong Kong Cyperport Management Company Limited (Cyberport) that are engaged in the areas of biotechnology, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, robotics, data analytics, financial technologies and material science are eligible for application. A maximum of 1,000 people will be admitted in the scheme’s first year. 

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