The 2016-17 Budget
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Budget Speech

Helping Small and Medium Enterprises

21.    There are 320 000 SMEs in Hong Kong, employing 50 per cent of the private sector workforce.  This underscores the role of SMEs as the mainstay of our economy.  To gear up for the adversities ahead, I shall provide SMEs with appropriate support measures to stabilise the employment market.

22.    To help SMEs tide over their liquidity needs, I shall introduce three measures –

(a) extend the application period for the "special concessionary measures" under the "SME Financing Guarantee Scheme" to 28 February 2017;
(b) reduce the annual guarantee fee rate for the measures by ten per cent; and
(c) remove the minimum guarantee fee for the measures.

23.    To ease the burden on enterprises, I shall reduce profits tax for 2015-16 by 75 per cent, subject to a ceiling of $20,000.  This proposal will benefit 130 000 taxpayers and reduce government revenue by $1.9 billion.

24.    I shall waive the business registration fees for 2016-17 to benefit 1.3 million business operators.  This proposal will reduce government revenue by $2.5 billion.

25.    To enhance the long-term competitiveness of SMEs, I shall launch a Pilot Technology Voucher Programme under the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) to subsidise their use of technological services and solutions to improve productivity and upgrade or transform business processes.  The three-year pilot programme will provide, on a matching basis, a maximum subsidy of $200,000 for each eligible SME.  The estimated expenditure of this programme is $500 million.


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Last revision date : 24 February 2016