In this year’s Budget, Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang announced various incentives for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Here are some highlights we think you might be interested in:-
- Waiver of Business Registration fees from 1 April (for current and proposed business registration fee and levies click here);
- Introduction of a Pilot Technology Voucher Program under the Innovation & Technology Fund providing subsidies of up to HKD 200,000 for SME’s use of technological services and solutions to improve productivity and upgrade or transform business processes;
- Extension of application period for “Special Concessionary Measures” under the “SME Financing Guarantee Scheme”;
- 10% reduction in annual guarantee fee rate for the measures;
- Removal of minimum guarantee fee;
- HKD 5 billion to be injected into the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) and further measures to encourage private enterprises to invest in R&D and applied technology; and
- HKD 2 billion Innovation and Technology Venture Fund for co-investing with private venture capital funds on a matching basis in local technology start-ups.
While all of this is very enticing, it is important to note that the proposals made in the annual Budget are subject to final approval from the Legislative Council and may be modified before enactment. But keep an eye out, an announcement should be made soon!