LCQ19: Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme
The Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme (the Subsidy Scheme), launched by the Government at the end of the year before last, consists of two parts, i.e. providing organisers of exhibitions and international conventions held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and AsiaWorld-Expo with a 100 per cent subsidy of the venue rental (venue rental subsidy), as well as providing all exhibitors of exhibitions and all participants of major conventions organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council with a 50 per cent subsidy of the participation fee/admission fee (participation fee/admission fee subsidy). The Chief Executive announced in the 2022 Policy Address that the Subsidy Scheme would be extended to the end of June next year, and a new scheme would be launched thereafter. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the respective numbers of applications for the venue rental subsidy which have been received, approved and rejected so far, and the number of applications under vetting; the average amount of subsidy for each approved application;
(2) of the amount involved so far in respect of the participation fee/admission fee subsidy; whether it will (i) increase the percentage of this subsidy, (ii) raise the caps of this subsidy (including the cap of 10 booths that may be subsidised per exhibitor each time), and (iii) expand the scope of this subsidy to cover the participation fees/admission fees of exhibitions and conventions held by other organisations; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(3) whether it will inject additional funds to the Subsidy Scheme to ensure that the Subsidy Scheme has adequate funding to operate until the end of June next year, and ensure a seamless transition to the new scheme; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
My consolidated reply to the question raised by the Hon Jimmy Ng is as follows:
To support the Convention and Exhibition (C&E) industry amid the pandemic, the Government launched the Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme under the Anti-epidemic Fund in October 2020, with a total commitment of $1.07 billion to provide financial assistance and inject impetus for the C&E industry.
The Subsidy Scheme consists of two parts. The first part provides organisers with 100 per cent subsidies for the venue rental of exhibitions and international conventions held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre or AsiaWorld-Expo. The Government urges the organisers to share the subsidy with participants. The other part subsidises exhibitors and major conference participants for 50 per cent of the participation fee at events organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Eligible exhibitors can also apply for funding support under the "SME Export Marketing Fund" to cover their participation fees of the relevant events on a matching basis, which means that eligible exhibitors can receive subsidy of up to 100 per cent of the participation fees.
As of September 30, 2022, the Subsidy Scheme provided around $467 million of subsidy to 175 events and no applications were rejected. In addition, the Government allocated part of the Subsidy Scheme's funding in the fourth quarter of last year to provide a one-off immediate relief of about $41 million to private organisers of 73 exhibitions, helping them cope with the impact of the prolonged postponement or cancellation of exhibitions amid the pandemic.
The Chief Executive has announced in the 2022 Policy Address that the Subsidy Scheme would be extended to June 30 next year. The terms of the Subsidy Scheme will remain the same as the current one. The Subsidy Scheme still has a balance of some $562 million, additional funding is not required for the time being.
In addition, we will launch a new $1.4 billion scheme on July 1 next year, providing financial incentives to attract exhibitions of different scales, particularly international trade shows, to be staged recurrently in Hong Kong. We expect that the scheme will attract more than 200 exhibitions over three years. The Government will brief the Panel on Commerce, Industry, Innovation and Technology of the Legislative Council on the details of the new scheme in due course.
Ends/Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Issued at HKT 11:52
Issued at HKT 11:52