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  Reinforcing our Strengths

Improving our Business Environment

18.     Hong Kong has a very favourable business environment, underpinned by a sound legal system, an independent judiciary, a low and simple tax regime, free flows of capital and information, and a clean and efficient government.  Nonetheless, we must strive for continuous improvement if we are to increase our competitiveness and boost economic development.  The Economic and Employment Council established last year has identified the construction and retail industries, which have a significant influence on our economy and the job market, for regulatory review.  The review aims to facilitate businesses by breaking down barriers and streamlining procedures.  The Council is particularly concerned that many types of licences are required for a commercial undertaking and involve lengthy procedures.  One of the main objectives of the review is therefore to look into the feasibility of issuing composite licences and, where practicable, introducing third-party certification or self-certification.  This would expedite the licensing process and enable the departments concerned to redeploy resources and step up enforcement action, thereby reducing irregularities.  We expect the Council to complete the review and put forward specific proposals by the end of this year.

19.     To create a more user-friendly business environment, we will continue to drive our e-government programme to enhance our service quality and efficiency.  We will also promote the adoption of e-business in the private sector.  In February this year, for instance, the Land Registry rolled out the Integrated Registration Information System, which enables the industries concerned and the public in general to conduct online land search.  Towards the end of last year, the Intellectual Property Department started to allow electronic filing of applications for registration of trademark, patents and designs.  As a result, application fees have been considerably reduced and although this arrangement has been in place for only a few months, nearly 30 per cent of applications are now filed electronically.



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2004 | Important notices
Last revision date : 16 March, 2005