CEDB briefs Trade and Industry Advisory Board on Policy Address (with photos)

     The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Algernon Yau, briefed members of the Trade and Industry Advisory Board on initiatives related to commerce and trade in "The Chief Executive's 2022 Policy Address" at a meeting today (October 24).
     Mr Yau said that the external economic environment in 2022 is still austere. In addition to the fallout from the COVID-19 epidemic, the costs of doing business and borrowing have increased while the investment and consumption sentiment has weakened in the face of high inflation and rising interest rates. Coupled with heightened geopolitical tensions, Hong Kong as an open economy will inevitably be affected.
     He pointed out that Hong Kong must continue to make the best endeavors to create strong impetus for growth and more room for development, leveraging the strengths of having the motherland's support. The Policy Address this year has therefore proposed a number of proactive and aggressive initiatives to compete for talents and enterprises with a view to strengthening the competitiveness of Hong Kong and exploring more opportunities.
     He briefed members on the work priorities for attracting enterprises and investment. These included taking forward the work of the Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises and the Advisory Committee on Attracting Strategic Enterprises, as well as expanding the functions of the overseas Economic and Trade Offices by setting up Dedicated Teams for Attracting Businesses and Talents to proactively reach out to target enterprises and talents to attract them to Hong Kong.
     Mr Yau also highlighted the support measures for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Policy Address. The cumulative funding ceiling per enterprise under the Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (BUD Fund) will be raised from $6 million to $7 million. Moreover, the cumulative funding ceiling per enterprise under the SME Export Marketing Fund will be raised from $0.8 million to $1 million, while the special measure to expand its funding scope will also be extended to June 2026 to continue to cover exhibitions and online exhibitions targeting the local market, and the eligibility criteria will be relaxed to cover non-SMEs.
     To ease the repayment pressure of SMEs, the application period of the principal moratorium under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme will be extended for six months to end June 2023, with the maximum duration up to 42 months.
     On the convention and exhibition industry, the Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme will be extended to end June 2023. A new $1.4 billion scheme will be launched in July 2023 to subsidise more than 200 recurrent exhibitions to be staged in Hong Kong over three years.

Ends/Monday, October 24, 2022
Issued at HKT 16:56