Apart from putting in place a series of measures to showcase Hong Kong’s appeal to people from around the world, Financial Secretary Paul Chan revealed that the Government will roll out key plans to draw in capital, enterprises and talent.

He shared such plans while unveiling his 2024-25 Budget, explaining that the economic environment has been rather difficult in recent years amid intensifying geopolitical tensions and the rise of unilateralism and protectionism.

Its impact on both the Mainland and Hong Kong economies, coupled with fierce competition from other economies, have caused unease among some about the future development of Hong Kong.

Mr Chan reiterated that Hong Kong’s economic outlook is bright and despite a host of prevailing challenges, he remains confident that the city will find infinite opportunities ahead.

“Our country’s economy is now pursuing high‑quality development through innovation, deepening reform and sustaining a high‑level, two-way opening‑up. The overall trend of long-term growth remains unchanged.”

As such, he pointed out that the Government has put in place a succession of measures to showcase Hong Kong’s appeal to people from around the world, with the goal of empowering individuals and enterprises to seize every opportunity.

Hong Kong will continue to roll out policies and initiatives on all fronts, drawing in capital, enterprises and talent, expanding its economic capacity and strengthening its impetus for development, he emphasised.

Attracting Enterprises, Capital and Talent on All Fronts

Mr Chan also made it clear that the city’s economy will develop better by drawing together a larger pool of companies, capital and talent.

“The Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises (OASES), the Innovation, Technology & Industry Bureau, Invest Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Investment Corporation Limited (HKIC) actively reach out to enterprises from the Mainland and overseas, and proactively attract and assist high value‑added technology industries and enterprises to establish a foothold in Hong Kong.”

Attract Strategic Enterprises

In its quest to attract strategic enterprises, for the next month, 10-plus strategic enterprises will sign a partnership agreement with OASES. Such companies have either confirmed setting up or expanding their businesses in Hong Kong, or they are planning to do so, Mr Chan pointed out.

“Together with the 30 companies from the first batch, they are expected to bring about over $40 billion in investment to Hong Kong, creating about 13,000 jobs over the next few years.

“Their presence in Hong Kong will attract upstream, midstream and downstream partners from their industry chains, promoting our innovation and technology (I&T) sector’s vibrant development.”

Hong Kong Investment Corporation Limited

Performing its role of channelling capital and leveraging market resources, the HKIC will attract more I&T companies to establish their presence in Hong Kong, accelerating the development of strategic industries.

The first batch of direct investment and co‑investment projects will be implemented in the first half of this year, covering areas such as life technology, green technology and finance, semi‑conductors and chips, as well as the upgrading and transformation of manufacturing industries.

Additionally, the Financial Secretary stated that to enhance Hong Kong’s attractiveness to enterprises and capital, the HKIC will host a Roundtable for International Sovereign Wealth Funds.

“Sovereign wealth funds and financial leaders will be invited to explore investment opportunities and develop collaborative partnerships. A Summit on Startup Investment & Development in Hong Kong will also be organised. It will bring together prominent figures in the startup ecosystem, with a view to boosting collaboration among the investment, industry, academic and research sectors.”

Re-domiciliation Mechanisms

Mr Chan said Hong Kong has already taken the first step by putting in place user‑friendly fund re-domiciliation mechanisms for Open-ended Fund Companies & Limited Partnership Funds.

Such mechanisms attract existing foreign funds to establish and operate in Hong Kong, and in the first half of 2024, the Government will submit a legislative proposal enabling companies domiciled overseas, especially enterprises with a business focus in the Asia-Pacific region, to re-domicile in Hong Kong.

Opening Up New Capital Sources

Mr Chan highlighted that alongside the longstanding efforts to reinforce Hong Kong’s appeal to traditional European and American capital, the Government is striving to open up new capital sources, including those from the Middle East.

“At the end of last year, the Asia-Pacific region’s first Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), which tracks stocks in Saudi Arabia, was listed in Hong Kong, a milestone in enhanced mutual access between our two markets.

“The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is also working with a number of financial institutions on the listing of an ETF in the Middle East that tracks Hong Kong stock indices”

Pooling Talent

Knowing full well that a larger pool of talent can boost economic development and competitiveness, in recent years, the Government has rolled out a number of measures, including the Top Talent Pass Scheme (TTPS), to trawl for talent.

In the past year or so, more than 140,000 applications were approved under various talent admission schemes and about 100,000 of them have already arrived in Hong Kong.

The Labour & Welfare Bureau will review the relevant arrangements in the middle of this year to ensure the competitiveness of such measures and their effectiveness in addressing the city’s manpower demand.

The finance chief described the scheme as being a huge success.

“The median average age of successful applicants of the TTPS is 35. Over 60% of them are married, and most of them have brought their families to Hong Kong. More than half of those who have been in Hong Kong for at least half a year are employed, and their median monthly income is about $50,000.”

He added that the Hong Kong Talent Engage (HKTE), which is tasked with assisting incoming talent to adapt to their new environment in Hong Kong, is committed to attracting talent from the Mainland and overseas, providing one-stop support services to help them settle here.

“The HKTE will organise a Global Talent Summit and the Guangdong‑Hong Kong‑Macao Greater Bay Area High‑quality Talent Development Conference in May.

“Their aim is to promote Hong Kong’s advantages as an international talent hub, enabling the flow of talent among the cities of the bay area.”


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