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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 2020-21 Budget include:
Support Enterprises

  • $10,000 cash payout to Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 or above
  • Introduce a concessionary low-interest loan with 100% guarantee for enterprises, which will be open for application for six months. Maximum loan of $2 million with repayment period up to three years. Moratorium on principle repayment for first six months
  • Reduce profits tax for 2019-20 assessment year by 100% subject to a $20,000 ceiling
  • Waive business registration fees for 2020-21
  • Waive registration fees for company annual returns for two years


Financial Services

  • Launch a $1 billion pilot scheme for fixed-rate mortgages to help reduce risks of interest rate volatility for homebuyers
  • Issue inflation-linked retail bonds and Silver Bonds totalling not less than $13 billion
  • Issue green bonds totalling $66 billion in next 5 years


Innovation and Technology 

  • Earmark $3 billion to take forward Phase 2 of the Science Park Expansion Programme
  • Explore the establishment of a third InnoHK research cluster
  • Increase the grant ceiling under the Technology Voucher Programme to $600,000 and raise the Government’s funding ratio to 75%
  • Inject $345 million for a pilot subsidy scheme to encourage the logistics industry to enhance productivity through the application of technology


Tourism

  • Additional funding of over $700 million for the Hong Kong Tourism Board to step up external promotion after the epidemic


Trade

  • Additional funding of $150 million for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to assist Hong Kong enterprises in exploring business opportunities


Professional Services

  • Earmark about $450 million to implement the “Vision 2030 for Rule of Law” project to strengthen the Hong Kong community’s understanding of the concept of the rule of law and its implementation


Cultural and Creative Industries

  • Additional $900 million to the Art Development Matching Grants Scheme to further promote sponsorship of culture and arts from all sectors


Nurture Talents

  • Expand the Researcher Programme and Postdoctoral Hub to cover all technology companies conducting R&D activities in Hong Kong

 

Key economic initiatives announced in the 2020 Policy Address include:

International Financial Centre

  • Include the pre-profit biotechnology companies listed in Hong Kong and stocks listed on the Mainland Sci-Tech Innovation Board meeting certain prescribed criteria into the stock universe of the mutual market access programmes
  • Expedite the implementation of the GBA cross-boundary wealth management connect scheme
  • Promote real estate investment trusts (REIT) in Hong Kong, including considering a relaxation of the investment restrictions of REIT as appropriate and broadening the investor base, as well as providing tax concession for carried interest issued by private equity funds
  • Launch the Fintech Proof-of-Concept Subsidy Scheme to encourage traditional financial institutions to partner with start-ups to conduct Proof-of-Concept projects
  • Conduct public consultation on the establishment of a licensing regime to monitor virtual asset service providers
  • InvestHK will set up a dedicated team to step up promotion of our advantages in local and other major markets, and offer one-stop support services to family offices which are interested in establishing a presence here


International Aviation Hub

  • The Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) will invest in Zhuhai Airport on the basis of market principles to reinforce its advantage in aviation
  • To consolidate and enhance the development of the airport city, AAHK will develop innovative facilities on the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) Island of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), including automated car parks, the Intermodal Transfer Terminal, the Airport City Link connecting the airport, the SKYCITY and the HKBCF Island via the autonomous transportation system and extend it to the Tung Chung Town Centre later
  • Commence preparation work for cross-boundary commercial helicopter services


International Innovation and Technology Hub

  • Jointly develop the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Co-operation Zone with Shenzhen, and explore with Shenzhen government the idea of allowing the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation to lease and manage certain areas of the Innovation and Technology Zone in Futian, Shenzhen, before the completion of the first batch of research and development (R&D) buildings in the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park at the Lok Ma Chau Loop
  • Launch a five-year Global STEM Professorship Scheme at a cost of $2 billion to attract outstanding R&D talent from overseas to engage in R&D work in Hong Kong
  • Release the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong 2.0 in December 2020 with more than 130 smart city initiatives
  • Launch the iAM Smart one-stop service platform in December 2020 for the delivery of a number of government and public utility electronic services


Supporting Business and Commerce Development and Small and Medium Enterprises

  • Expand the scope of subsidy under the Small and Medium Enterprises Export Marketing Fund for two years so that enterprises affected by the epidemic can fully utilise both online and offline sale channels
  • Set aside $50 million under the Professional Services Advancement Support Scheme to subsidise professional bodies to step up publicity and promotion in the GBA and overseas
  • Establish the Pan-Greater Bay Area Inward Investment Liaison Group to enable InvestHK and its counterparts in other cities in the GBA to develop holistic and joint inward investment propositions with a view to enhancing synergy


Creative Industries

  • Make an additional injection of $1 billion into the CreateSmart Initiative
  • Set up an inter-bureau task force to promote and develop Art Tech, set aside $100 million and provide state-of-the-art venues and complementary facilities for experimental use
     

Construction Industry

  • Maintain an annual capital works expenditure of over $100 billion in the next few years, creating over 300,000 employment opportunities for the construction industry taking into account investment from the private sector
  • Propose to the Legislative Council to raise the expenditure ceiling for each minor works project funded under the block vote from the current $30 million to $50 million to expedite the implementation of projects that are closely related to the daily lives of the people


Convention and Exhibition Industry

  • Take forward the redevelopment of the three government towers in Wan Chai North and the Kong Wan Fire Station into convention and exhibition facilities, hotels and offices, and press ahead with the development of phase two of AsiaWorld-Expo
  • Make use of the $1 billion Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme to subsidise exhibitors of exhibitions organised by the HKTDC and participants of its major conventions


Tourism Industry

  • Roll out additional relief measures involving a funding of $600 million for the tourism industry, which has been hardest hit by the epidemic
  • Tap into more local cultural and green tourism resources once the epidemic has eased, with a view to expanding both the Mainland and overseas visitor source markets as well as offering leisure and travel experience with rich historical and cultural elements


The Government of Hong Kong SAR is also committed to driving local business through a variety of initiatives. For details of government funding schemes, please visit here.

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