Hong Kong unveils expansionary budget

Hong Kong unveils expansionary budget

Hong Kong unveils expansionary budget

Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan (陳茂波), addressing the territory's lawmakers in his annual budget speech, also pledged to address livelihood challenges, including a widening wealth gap and astronomical property prices.

Part of the budget measures for the upcoming year include HK$50 billion towards innovation and technology development, HK$396 million towards the tourism industry and an increase in recurrent expenditure on healthcare.

More than HK$50 billion (US$6.4 billion) would be earmarked for "investing in the future", Chan said, who described the priorities as a "new fiscal philosophy" of forward-looking and strategic capital spending to help innovative and creative industries, including a startup fund and investments in sectors such as fintech, biotechnology and artificial intelligence.

The city has retained a sizeable war chest with fiscal reserves expected to eclipse the HK$1 trillion mark at the end of March 2018.

Hong Kong is widely seen to be lagging far behind the new industry push of rivals like the southern China tech hub of Shenzhen, and Singapore.

It is expected that the economy continue to grow between three and four per cent, following a 3.8 per cent growth in 2017. "The government has been making every effort to identify land and boost housing supply", Chan said, adding that 20,800 private residential units would be completed annually over the next five years.

Taxpayers can expect as much as HK$30,000 off this year's tax bills, while salaries and profits tax will be reduced by 75 per cent.

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.