The 2012-13 Budget
  繁體 簡体 Mail to:  
Budget Speech
Press Releases
Photo Gallery
Related Documents
Previous Budgets
Related Links
Site Map


The 2012-13 Budget  
Budget Speech
Capitalising on Our Competitive Edge

93.       We must take advantage of our existing competitive edge to promote economic development. The National 12th Five-Year Plan has unprecedentedly included a dedicated chapter on Hong Kong and Macao. This spells out the functions and positioning of the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions in the development strategy of our country.

94.       Last August, Mr Li Keqiang, Vice-Premier of the State Council, announced the Central Government’s package of more than 30 specific policy measures to support our economic, trade and financial co-operation with the Mainland. We shall actively take forward these measures.

95.       The continued liberalisation of the Mainland economy has presented Hong Kong with an opportunity to further develop its economy. Take the capital market as an example. Mainland enterprises flock to list in Hong Kong, attracting large international capital inflows. This has made Hong Kong the premier location for capital formation for Mainland enterprises seeking to raise funds overseas. After more than two decades of development, the Mainland has gradually moved from seeking to attract capital inflows to encouraging its enterprises and funds to go global, a process that is accelerating. Hong Kong should brace itself for another restructuring of its capital market. Among other things, we should improve our market infrastructure, seek to enhance the market connectivity of the Mainland and Hong Kong and increase our market capacity.

96.       On the promotion of Hong Kong-Taiwan co-operation, the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Cooperation and Promotion Council and the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council are actively following up on the agreed priority co-operation areas, including medical and health co-operation, arrangements for avoidance of double taxation on shipping income, and further strengthening bilateral economic exchanges between the two places. In late December last year, both sides signed an air services arrangement, which increased the flight frequency, number of destinations, and passenger and cargo capacities between Hong Kong and Taiwan. Not only will the arrangement benefit the development of the aviation, freight and tourism industries of the two places, it will also strengthen Hong Kong’s position as an international and regional aviation hub. Furthermore, the Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Cultural Office in Taiwan commenced operation last December. This marks a significant step in fostering the co-operation between Hong Kong and Taiwan on economic, cultural and other fronts in the long run.

97.       Linkage to the world is one of the competitive edges of Hong Kong. Since this Government took office, we have been strengthening trade ties with emerging markets. I led various business delegations to the BRICS countries, South East Asia, South America, etc., and signed with a number of trading partners a series of tax arrangements, investment promotion and protection agreements and free trade agreements (FTAs). Hong Kong has started negotiations with Chile on a bilateral FTA recently, which will enable us to tap business opportunities and development potential in this emerging market, and open a gateway to the South American region.

98.       We  need  to  pursue  participation   in  multilateral  and  regional  economic   co-operation to reinforce Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s world city. To this end, we have conveyed to ASEAN our wish to join the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area. We shall also continue to be an active member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation to further promote trade and investment liberalisation. With these efforts, more business opportunities will be opened up, facilitating greater trade and investment flows for Hong Kong.

99.       To enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong as an international financial, investment and commercial hub, we shall continue our efforts to expand our network of avoidance of double taxation agreements. Significant progress has been made in recent years, and our endeavour has been widely recognised by both local and foreign chambers of commerce. In just two years after the relevant legislative amendments took effect to align Hong Kong’s exchange of tax information arrangements with international standards, we have already signed 17 new agreements, including those with some major economic partners such as the UK, Japan and France. We have also concluded agreements with partners like India, Malaysia and Mexico, and are in discussion with other partners, including Canada and South Korea.

100.       At present, there are 7 000 parent companies from overseas and the Mainland operating in Hong Kong, an increase of six per cent over 2010. They are attracted by a combination of factors, including our strategic location, sound legal system, simple and low tax regime and diverse pool of talent. We must strive to maintain these competitive edges.

101.       I believe that we should take full advantage of our relationship with the Mainland while enhancing our international outlook. This should continue to be our way forward. It will further reinforce Hong Kong’s position as a global economic, financial and commercial centre. Hong Kong is prepared and ready for future challenges.



Content | Next Page

2011 .| Important notices | Privacy Policy  Last revision date : 1 February 2012