BFAC appreciates Government's efforts in promoting A Safe Community campaign and liaising with World Bank Group on Business Enabling Environment project

The following is issued on behalf of the Business Facilitation Advisory Committee Secretariat:
     The Business Facilitation Advisory Committee held its 50th meeting today (February 23). At the meeting, the Inter-departmental Counter Terrorism Unit (ICTU) briefed members on its promotion of A Safe Community initiatives and the way forward. The Efficiency Office (EffO) also briefed members on the new Business Enabling Environment (BEE) project of the World Bank Group (WBG) and Hong Kong's participation in the first report of the BEE project.
     The ICTU has launched a public education campaign titled A Safe Community for various sectors of the community since late 2021. Amongst which, The Safe Community Pledge was rolled out in June 2022 to remind the chemical sector of the importance of complying with legal requirements, keeping and managing access records properly, and the identifying and timely reporting of dubious situations to the Police. To solidify A Safe Community, the ICTU will continue to collaborate with government bureaux/departments and various community sectors in raising counter terrorism awareness and preparedness in the community.
     The Committee appreciated the ICTU's efforts in enhancing the public's counter terrorism awareness and preparedness.
     In February 2022, the WBG announced the replacement of the Doing Business reports by the BEE to capture the reality of business environment for private sector development and provide policy makers with insights into potential areas of reform. In December 2022, the WBG issued the BEE Concept Note to set out the objectives, scope and approach of the new project. According to the Concept Note, the WBG plans to designate the first three BEE reports as the piloting phase. Hong Kong has been placed on the list of economies to participate in the first edition of the new report.     
     The Committee noted the development of the WBG's new BEE project and appreciated the EffO's continuous efforts in liaising with the WBG on implementation of the BEE project and setting up a thematic webpage ( to share with the trade the latest updates that are relevant to the BEE.
     The Committee also received the work reports of its three task forces:
Wholesale and Retail Task Force (WRTF)
  • The Department of Health (DH) briefed the WRTF on the Medical Device Administrative Control System (MDACS). The MDACS provides a listing of medical devices (MDs) and traders. To be eligible for listing, an MD and a trader must meet relevant requirements on safety, quality and performance. Separately, the MDACS administers the Adverse Event Reporting System for MDs and the surveillance of safety alerts of MDs issued by medical device manufacturers or overseas regulatory authorities to ensure listed MDs on the market conform to the requirements. The DH would encourage major buyers of MDs to accord preference to MDACS-listed MDs in their procurement exercises. The WRTF thanked the DH for the briefing and considered that the early listing of MDs would not only better public health, but also facilitate the trade's business.
  • The DH introduced to the WRTF the e-services for seven wholesale and retail licences/certificates related to Chinese medicines and Western medicines including e-submissions, e-payments and issuance of e-licences upon application approval. Following the objectives of the Be the Smart Regulator (BTSR) Programme, e-services foster efficiency of work, enhance transparency and communication and ultimately customer satisfaction of the licensing services. The WRTF welcomed the provision of e-services and suggested the DH to continue promoting trade's wider use through various channels.
Food Business and Related Services Task Force (FRSTF)
  • The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) consulted the FRSTF on the proposed inclusion of a new licensing condition requiring food business operators to provide consumer advice on consumption of raw oysters. While the FRSTF expressed its reservation on the FEHD's proposal, it suggested the FEHD to take into consideration the views and concerns of members, revise the proposal and consult the FRSTF again before implementation.
  • The FEHD also briefed the FRSTF on the introduction of a Professional Certification System (PCS) on a pilot basis as an alternative means for light refreshment restaurants (LRRs) and food factories to obtain full licences. The FEHD plans to roll out the new measure in March 2023. Subject to smooth implementation and support from the trade, the FEHD will work out an extension of the new measure to other food business licences in the second half of 2023 at the soonest. The FRSTF welcomed the new PCS and expressed appreciation to the FEHD for their efforts in developing business facilitation measures to assist the food trade in obtaining full licences in a timely manner.
  • To increase the operational flexibility of LRRs, the FEHD also briefed the FRSTF on relaxing the restrictions on the scope of food items that can be sold at LRRs. Restrictions will be imposed on the cooking activities instead of the food type under the new initiative. Simple cooking activities that do not generate a large amount of greasy fumes during food preparation will be permitted. The FEHD plans to roll out the new initiative in March 2023. The FRSTF welcomed the relaxed initiative and appreciated the business facilitation effort of the FEHD.
Task Force on Business Liaison Groups (BLGTF)
  • The FEHD, the Home Affairs Department and the Hong Kong Police Force briefed the BLGTF on the e-licensing services which benefit multiple trades related to the Business Liaison Groups. These services, including e-submissions, e-payments and e-licences, facilitate the trade to apply for licences for operating relevant businesses or holding specific commercial activities in their premises. The BLGTF thanked the departments for implementing the e-licensing services which facilitate the trade in licence applications and reduce their administrative burden.
     The Committee expressed appreciation of the commitment and achievements of the bureaux and departments in continuously implementing business facilitation measures to enhance their business licensing services under the BTSR Programme. Furthermore, the Committee also appreciated that bureaux and departments would continue to implement e-services proactively to align with the Government's aim to turn all government services online by mid-2024, as announced by the Chief Executive in the 2022 Policy Address.
     Papers for the Committee meeting are available at for public access.                     

Ends/Thursday, February 23, 2023
Issued at HKT 17:32