Hong Kong releases new fiscal year budget

  The Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong SAR Government, Chen Maobo, recently released the SAR Government Budget for the 2022/2023 financial year. The SAR Government has introduced counter-cyclical measures of more than 170 billion yuan (HKD, the same below) to help the society tide over the difficulties.

  All sectors of the Hong Kong community and public opinion have expressed that the budget is "comprehensive and pragmatic, and has a long-term vision", effectively taking into account both anti-epidemic relief and economic development, and reflects the SAR government's people-oriented spirit and proactive governance philosophy.

  Fight against the epidemic

  The focus of the new Budget is to fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, provide relief to Hong Kong citizens and businesses, and maintain the economic vitality of the SAR.

Chen Maobo said that we will allocate all available resources and take all necessary measures to fight the epidemic. The resources prepared in the Budget alone have exceeded 54 billion yuan.

  Due to the sharp deterioration of the fifth wave of the epidemic, Hong Kong's economy and people's lives are under pressure.

The new budget will continue to adopt an expansionary fiscal policy. The measures are mainly focused on four aspects: fully combat and defeat the epidemic; bail out citizens and small and medium-sized enterprises; provide support for the downturned economy and promote economic recovery after the epidemic; invest in the future and deploy long-term economic development.

  According to the arrangement of the Budget, the SAR government will distribute electronic consumer coupons to eligible Hong Kong residents again, and increase the code to 10,000 yuan per person.

In terms of supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, the corporate profits tax capped at RMB 10,000 will be reduced or exempted, which will benefit about 151,000 enterprises in Hong Kong.

  Fighting the epidemic is the overriding priority for Hong Kong right now.

In the new fiscal year, resources will be substantially increased. About 22 billion yuan will be allocated to the Food and Health Bureau to increase nucleic acid testing for the new coronavirus, and an additional 6 billion yuan will be allocated to the Department of Health to purchase new crown vaccines. supplies and services, and construction of various epidemic prevention and anti-epidemic related facilities.

  boost economic vitality

  Chen Maobo emphasized that integrating into the overall national development is an inevitable path for Hong Kong's economy. The SAR government will make good use of national policies and its own advantages to actively expand the huge mainland market; To "seek progress while maintaining stability, to promote stability".

  Continuing to promote the development of innovation and technology is an important strategy to make the economy more high-quality and diversified.

Chen Maobo announced that a "Strategic Innovation and Technology Fund" will be established with 5 billion yuan to identify technology companies with strategic value to Hong Kong and investment opportunities that can enrich the innovation and technology ecosystem; double the annual funding provided by the "Innovation and Technology Fund" to R&D institutions To 440 million yuan; invest 5 billion yuan to establish a "Greater Bay Area Investment Fund" to help the development of different advantageous industries in the region through investment.

  "In terms of the development of life and health technology, the SAR government will set aside 10 billion yuan to provide more complete support for the long-term development of Hong Kong and establish a more complete industrial chain." Chen Maobo said.

  In terms of housing policy, the SAR Government is adopting a multi-pronged strategy to actively speed up the pace of building land and housing.

Chen Maobo said that the SAR government has found about 350 hectares of land to build about 330,000 public housing units, which can meet the demand for about 301,000 public housing units in the next 10 years.

  Taking into account the further recovery of the global economy and the solid underlying economic fundamentals, as well as the boosting effect of fiscal measures, Chen Maobo predicts that the Hong Kong economy will perform better in the second half of 2022, and the real growth for the whole year is expected to be between 2% and 3.5%. .

  Inspiring Hong Kong Society

  The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Carrie Lam, said in a statement that the pragmatic and appropriate relief measures in the Budget will help small and medium-sized enterprises and grassroots citizens get out of the predicament and unite all sectors of society to fight the epidemic.

Chen Zhisi, convener of non-official members of the Executive Council of the SAR Government, believes that the Budget adheres to the current government's public financial management principles of prudent financial management, living within our means, and making use of what we need to do, allocate appropriate resources according to the current situation and people's livelihood needs, and make arrangements for future economic development , to ensure the continued soundness of public finances.

  The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce of Hong Kong, the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, and the Hong Kong Belt and Road General Chamber of Commerce all agreed that the Budget will take into account Hong Kong's short-, medium- and long-term financial and social needs, and will help the development of Hong Kong's economy after the epidemic eases. Add momentum.

The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University and the Hong Kong Metropolitan University also expressed that they are very encouraged by the measures and financial investment in the Budget to increase resources to strengthen the training of medical staff, promote innovation and research in universities, and support the development of arts and technology. .

  The editorial of Hong Kong's "Wen Wei Po" believes that the new budget is focused on fighting the new crown pneumonia epidemic, focusing on bailouts for citizens and enterprises, showing a positive attitude of "flexibility, combating the epidemic, relieving people's hardships, and investing in the future".

The editorial of Hong Kong's "Ta Kung Pao" stated that this is an "answer sheet" that cares for people's livelihood, develops the economy, is based on the present, and takes into account the long-term. , restore economic confidence.

  "The country continues to develop steadily. Hong Kong under 'one country, two systems' has a bright future; the Chinese dream has our Hong Kong dream." Chen Maobo said in the conclusion of the budget, hoping that all sectors of the society will join hands and work together with courage, wisdom, confidence and Take action to build a beautiful home in Hong Kong together.

  Chen Ran