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The 2016-17 Budget

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Budget Speech

Trading and Logistics Industry

68.    Strategically located, and with an extensive trading network as well as a simple and open trading system, Hong Kong for years has been a regional trading and logistics hub underpinned by a well-established international transportation network.

69.    We are among the world leaders in terms of both air and port cargo throughput.  Last year, Hong Kong's visible trade, including re-exports, domestic exports and imports of goods, amounted to $8.4 trillion, approaching four times of GDP.

70.    To cater for the demand in modern supply chain management, the trading and logistics industry needs to develop towards the provision of high value-added services.  In this respect, air cargo services are of growing importance.  The cargo handled by the Hong Kong International Airport accounts for less than two per cent of our total freight volume by weight, but makes up nearly 40 per cent of our exports and imports by value.

71.    With rising passenger and cargo throughput at the Hong Kong International Airport, the existing two-runway system will reach its maximum capacity in a few years.  It is imperative for us to take forward the development of a three-runway system (3RS) in order to meet our long-term air traffic demand, and to maintain our status as an international and regional aviation centre in the face of fierce competition from other airports in the region.  Having gone through the environmental impact assessment process, the Airport Authority (AA) has submitted its recommendations on the planning of the 3RS to Government.

72.    I envisage that the construction works for the 3RS could commence in 2016 for commissioning in 2023.  AA estimated that, with full operation of the system, the airport could handle 100 million passengers and 9 million tonnes of cargo annually by 2030.

73.    Aerospace financing is crucial to the development of high value-added aviation services.  Asia sees the fastest growth in demand for aviation services, and an intense need for aerospace financing.  We shall ride on the experience of other jurisdictions and explore possible measures that can promote aerospace financing business in Hong Kong.

74.    The lack of back-up land is a big problem confronting our logistics industry.  The Transport and Housing Bureau has completed technical assessments for the ten hectares of logistics site reserved at Tuen Mun West.  We shall consult the local community as early as possible and release the site for the use of the industry by phases.

75.    Apart from hardware, supporting software is also essential to strengthen our connection with overseas markets.  We are examining how best to further streamline departments' handling of import/export documents.  The provision of one-stop customs clearance service through a "Single Window" will closely follow mainstream international development.

76.    The burgeoning of internet banking, electronic payment instruments and e-cheques in recent years has spurred the development of e-commerce.  With regard to cross-border trade, Government will explore with the industries the feasibility of promoting the use of electronic letters of credit to reduce cost.

77.    While the strong growth of e-commerce generates business opportunities for the provision of logistics and delivery services, the prevalence of e-communication poses a challenge to traditional mail delivery business.  We shall review the business operation of Hongkong Post with the objectives of enabling the department to further support the development of the logistics industry in Hong Kong and expand its service offerings in response to market needs.

78.    Hong Kong, the first among all members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), joined the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in late 2014.  TFA will motivate WTO Members to improve and harmonise the import/export and customs procedures, thereby bringing down trading costs and speeding up goods movement.

79.    The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is Hong Kong's fourth largest trading partner in terms of services and second largest in terms of goods.  We started the free trade agreement negotiations with ASEAN in the middle of last year to secure favourable access of our goods, services and investment to this market of enormous potential.

80.    To enhance economic co-operation and integration between Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions, we are exploring a closer economic partnership arrangement with Macao.  Such arrangement, coupled with those already signed respectively by Hong Kong and Macao with the Mainland, will constitute a new economic and trade co-operation platform for the region.



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