Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
2011-12 Budget an investment in future, says FS

     Investing in Hong Kong's future economic development to maintain the city's competitiveness is a major plank of the 2011-12 Budget unveiled by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, today (February 23).

     Mr Tsang announced record infrastructure spending and a series of initiatives to foster growth in key economic areas.  

     The Financial Secretary estimated that capital works expenditure would reach a record $58 billion in 2011-12 as the 10 major infrastructure projects continue to be rolled out over the next few years.

     These projects include the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and the Kai Tak Development Plan Stage 1.

     "With the 10 major infrastructure projects and other projects entering their construction peaks, I estimate that the capital works expenditure for each of the next few years will exceed $60 billion," Mr Tsang said.

     To enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness as an international business centre, the Financial Secretary pledged to increase the supply of Grade A office space and develop high-grade office clusters.

     He said land made available for sale in the next fiscal year will include sites that would provide a floor area of 600 000 square metres for commercial and business use.

     "To enhance our competitiveness, we must maintain a steady and adequate supply of Grade A offices, and strive to develop new high-grade office clusters through land use planning, urban design, area improvement and the provision of better transport networks," Mr Tsang said.

     The Financial Secretary said the Government would strive to develop Hong Kongˇ¦s four pillar industries; trade and logistics, professional services, tourism and financial services.

     "We will continue to invest in transport infrastructure projects and optimise our highly efficient multimodal transport services, with a view to promoting the development of air, sea and land transport and logistics," Mr Tsang said.

     On financial services, Mr Tsang said Hong Kong will continue to build on its post-financial tsunami momentum, particularly in Renminbi business and as an attractive capital-raising centre for overseas companies.

     He said: "While maintaining a high standard of regulation, the SEHK (Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited) will continue to streamline the listing process for overseas companies, shorten the timetable and lower costs."

     To support growth in the tourism sector, the Financial Secretary said the Application List would specify two sites for hotels for sale by open auction or tender this year.

     "To increase the supply of different types of hotels, we will regularise the pilot measure of offering sites 'restricted to hotel use' on the Application List," Mr Tsang said.

     To further diversify the economy, the Financial Secretary said the government would continue to roll out support measures for the six industries identified as having a clear advantage, namely, medical services, testing and certification services, education services, environmental industries, cultural and creative industries and innovation and technology.

     Among the initiatives, Mr Tsang earmarked $1 billion for a Health and Medical Research Fund to be set up by the Food and Health Bureau.

     On environmental industries, Mr Tsang said the Government would continue to facilitate the widespread introduction of electric vehicles by expanding the charging network across Hong Kong.

     To enhance Hong Kong's overall competitiveness, the Financial Secretary said the Government would step up efforts to build ties with emerging economies as well as with the cityˇ¦s nearest neighbours.

     "At the regional level, we will strengthen co-operation with Guangdong Province, Macao, Taiwan and other regions in various respects to sharpen our competitive edge in the global market," Mr Tsang said.

Ends/Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Issued at HKT 13:04


Print this page