The 2011 - 2012 Budget
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Budget Speech

Investing in Infrastructure

70.      In the beginning of its term, the Government initiated the strategy of promoting growth through infrastructural development. Our capital works expenditure rose substantially from $20.5 billion in 2007-08 to the revised estimate of $49.6 billion in 2010-11.

71.      The estimated capital works expenditure for 2011-12 will reach a record high of over $58 billion. The ten major infrastructure projects are being rolled out in phases as scheduled. Among them, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and the Kai Tak Development Plan Stage 1 have commenced construction. The Shatin to Central Link project was gazetted in November 2010. We are pressing ahead with its planning, design and consultation, and construction is expected to start in 2012. The construction works of the South Island Line (East) are scheduled to commence in 2011.

72.      Other major projects expected to start in 2011-12 include essential public infrastructure works for the Kwun Tong Line Extension; detailed design and ground investigation works for the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point; the replacement and rehabilitation of water mains in various districts across the territory; sewerage improvement works in Central and East Kowloon and the rural areas of the New Territories; redevelopment of Yan Chai Hospital; and construction of district open space, sports centre and library in Area 74, Tseung Kwan O. With the ten major infrastructure projects and other projects entering their construction peaks, I estimate that the capital works expenditure for each of the next few years will exceed $60 billion.

73.      The employment situation in the construction industry has improved significantly, with the unemployment rate dropping successively from a tsunami peak of 12.8 per cent to 4.5 per cent. In my last Budget, I earmarked $100 million to support the Construction Industry Council (CIC) to train more skilled staff and attract more people, especially young people, to join the construction industry. With the support of the industry, the CIC launched the Enhanced Construction Manpower Training Scheme. To boost enrolment, the Hong Kong Construction Association Limited announced last month that it would raise the monthly salary of trainees graduating from courses on selected trades to $10,000 and further to $15,000 after six months’ employment. The Development Bureau, in collaboration with the CIC and the stakeholders of the construction industry, will reach out to young people through various measures, including establishing a designated website on the industry and setting up a construction industry resource centre.


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Last revision date : 23 February 2011