October, 2019
The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mrs Carrie Lam, released her 2019 Policy Address on 16 October. Titled “Treasure Hong Kong : Our Home”, the focus of this year's Policy Address relates to Housing and Land, as well as livelihood issues, diversifying the economy, nurturing talent and making Hong Kong a more liveable city.

In presenting the Policy Address, Mrs Lam said she would adhere to “One Country, Two Systems” and safeguarding the rights and freedoms protected by the Basic Law; safeguarding the rule of law; and protecting Hong Kong’s institutional strengths. Hong Kong, being an open and free city, has always upheld the principles of inclusiveness, integration and mutual respect, and has been resolving disputes by peaceful and rational means, Mrs Lam said.

A number of initiatives of the Policy Address which will be of interest to the business and international communities are summarised as follows:
Innovation and Technology
  • Extend the coverage of the Technology Talent Admission Scheme to companies outside the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation and Cyberport and to cover new technology areas
  • Extend the coverage of the Researcher Programme, Postdoctoral Hub and Public Sector Trial Scheme to all technology companies conducting research and development activities
  • Inject HK$500 million (about AUD$95 million) into the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund to further promote social innovation
Transportation and Logistics
  • Provide tax concession for ship lessors and leasing managers to develop ship leasing business; and plan to introduce tax concessionary measures to encourage more commercial principals of the maritime industry to establish a presence in Hong Kong
  Trade and Investment
  • Inject HK$1 billion (about AUD$0.19 billion) into the Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales and significantly increase the funding ceiling per enterprise under its Mainland Programme and Free Trade Agreement Programme to HK$2 million (about AUD$0.38 million)
  • Inject HK$1 billion (about AUD$0.19 billion) into the Export Marketing and Trade and Industrial Organisation Support Fund to double the cumulative funding ceiling for each enterprise under the SME Export Marketing Fund to HK$800,000 (about AUD$152,000)
  • Provide a 90% guarantee under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme for approved loans
  • Extend the application period of the special concessionary measures under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme and the validity period of the three enhancement measures to 30 June 2022
  • Introduce a relief measure under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme and the SME Loan Guarantee Scheme where enterprises may apply for principal moratorium of up to 6 months, during which only interest repayments have to be made
  Please find the full document and supplement of the Policy Address as well as a leaflet here.  
  Hong Kong
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