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Budget for business


The Hong Kong SAR Government enhances focus on innovation, green and wellness spending.


Facing a business environment that has changed profoundly over the past few years, the Hong Kong SAR Government’s budget, recently announced by Financial Secretary Paul Chan, spotlights three newer sectors – innovation, sustainability and wellness, all of which are key growth drivers.

To strengthen Hong Kong’s digital transformation, authorities will undertake an in-depth study to develop a data trading ecosystem in the city, and the first phase of Project mBridge is expected to launch this year, becoming one of the first projects in the world to settle cross-boundary transactions for corporates using central bank digital currencies.

To accelerate the adoption of electronic transactions, phase two of the e-Hong Kong Dollar Pilot Programme will be rolled out, while the scope of e-CNY pilot testing in Hong Kong will be expanded.

Funds will be allocated to a range of IT and biotech R&D initiatives. These include the establishment of an AI Supercomputing Centre and the Hong Kong Microelectronics Research and Development Institute to facilitate research collaboration on third-generation semiconductors. Hong Kong universities, R&D institutes and enterprises will be allocated HK$3 billion to leverage the centre’s computing power.

Innovation and technology is a key thematic focus at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) across its events, support programmes and overseas promotions. In the past year, we continued to upgrade our digital infrastructure to facilitate hundreds of thousands of business connections like never before and expanded our calendar of events with the launch of InnoEx – which returns next month – to help businesses seize opportunities. We also run the Start-up Express entrepreneurship programme to nurture start-ups and help them scale up.

Hong Kong has become one of the world’s leading centres for sustainable finance, with green-bond issuance growing strongly every year. The budget also proposed a Green and Sustainable Fintech Proof of Concept Subsidy Scheme to be launched in the first half of this year.

To boost green shipping and the use of climate-friendly fuels, the budget allocated HK$65 million to concessionary measures for Hong Kong-registered ships that have attained a high rating under international standards of decarbonisation.

As the price of photovoltaic panels continues to plummet, the authorities will launch a pilot scheme to explore applications on facades of government buildings, capturing early morning, evening and reflected sunlight.

Like innovation, sustainability drives HKTDC’s work. From our anchor Eco Expo Asia and thematic conversations at our conferences to the newly launched ESG stream in our Transformation Sandbox business support programme and overseas promotions, sustainability is incorporated in all aspects of HKTDC’s work.

In the area of wellness, the Government budget allocated extensive resources to biotech and healthcare research. Hong Kong universities will receive HK$6 billion to set up biotech and health technology research institutes.

To enhance biotech research collaboration with Mainland China, the Government will set up the Greater Bay Area International Clinical Trial Institute in the Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone this year. InnoHK research clusters in Hetao will receive HK$2 billion in support.

In addition to the Asia Summit on Global Health, the HKTDC runs the HKTDC International Medical and Healthcare Fair every May and incorporates wellness in its various public fairs, from Food Expo to the Beauty & Wellness Expo. The HKTDC also provides comprehensive support, including advisory, training and business matching, to SMEs and start-ups operating in wellness sectors, ranging from healthcare and nutrition to creative and design.

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