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Professional Services Advancement Support Scheme opens for application
     The Government will launch the Professional Services Advancement Support Scheme (PASS) tomorrow (November 24) to provide funding support for non-profit-making industry-led projects aimed at increasing the exchanges and co-operation of Hong Kong's professional services with their counterparts in external markets and promoting relevant publicity activities.
     The $200 million PASS was announced by the Chief Executive in his 2016 Policy Address and was approved by the Legislative Council in July. In addition to the aforementioned outreaching projects, PASS is also open to projects seeking to enhance the standards and external competitiveness of professional services in Hong Kong.
     For each project under PASS, the Government will fund up to 90 per cent of the total eligible project cost, or $3 million, whichever is lower. "This higher percentage of government contribution is designed to encourage more organisations, especially those with lesser means, to undertake projects and bring early benefits to the professional services sector," a spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said.
     A wide range of professional services are eligible for funding under PASS. Non-profit-distributing professional, trade or industrial organisations, as well as research institutes, may apply for funding.  
     Applications will normally be invited four times a year. Urgent applications may be considered outside the normal application cycle where justified. The first tranche of applications will be accepted from tomorrow to February 28, 2017. Applications may be sent to the PASS Secretariat under the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau.
     Applications received will be assessed by a Vetting Committee, which will also monitor approved projects. The following members have been appointed to the Vetting Committee for a term of two years from January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2018:
Dr Jonathan Choi Koon-shum
Mr Lau Ping-cheung
Dr Sunny Chai Ngai-chiu
Professor Chetwyn Chan Che-hin
Mr Chan Chi-chiu
Mr Dennis Ho Chiu-ping
Mr Stephen Hung Wan-shun
Dr Sigmund Leung Sai-man
Ms Edith Shih
Mr Peter Sun Kwok-wah
Professor Tam Kar-yan
Executive Director of the Hong Kong Productivity Council or her representative
Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council or her representative
Deputy Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce and Industry)
     For further information, please visit the PASS website at www.pass.gov.hk or contact the PASS Secretariat at 3655 5418 or pass@cedb.gov.hk.
Ends/Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:00
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