The 2017-18 Budget
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Budget Speech

Business and Professional Services

112.    The business and professional services industry has always been one of Hong Kong's pillar industries, accounting for 12 per cent of GDP and employing a total of about 520 000 people.  In the world's ever-changing business environment, we have been actively promoting Hong Kong's role as a major business platform in the global market, so as to enhance our business ties and trade flows with economies around the world.  With the global economic development gravity shifting towards the east in recent years, Mainland enterprises have been active in making investments overseas and tapping overseas markets.  Capitalising on its quality professional services, socio-cultural advantages and rich international business experiences, Hong Kong can capture the business opportunities so created and strive for further development.

Supporting Development

113.    We have been implementing a combination of measures to support the development of professional services.  These measures include pursuing negotiations on FTAs to secure more favourable market access for our industries; promoting our strengths in professional services through the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), and providing various kinds of assistance.  In November last year, the $200 million Professional Services Advancement Support Scheme was launched to specifically support Hong Kong's professional services sector in undertaking activities relating to external exchanges, publicity and enhancement of service standards and competitiveness.  I encourage the sector to make the best use of the scheme.

Exploring New Markets

114.    To help the local commercial sector and professionals open up new markets, we established our 12th overseas Economic and Trade Office (ETO) in Indonesia last year to strengthen our ties with ASEAN countries.  While actively preparing for the setting up of an ETO in Korea, we are commencing preliminary work to establish ETOs in India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates so as to enhance our trade and cultural exchanges with other economies.

115.    The current-term Government has been actively expanding the network of our offices in the Mainland.  In particular, a total of four liaison units will be set up in Tianjin, Zhejiang, Guangxi and Shaanxi in the first half of this year.  This will bring the total number of ETOs (including the Beijing Office) and liaison units in the Mainland from seven in June 2012 to 16 in the near future, enabling a more even geographical spread throughout the entire Mainland.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

116.    We will continue to work with the Central Government and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for early completion of the procedures for Hong Kong to participate in the AIIB as a non-sovereign territory.  With extensive experience in implementing, managing and operating infrastructure projects, a mature financial market and a wide range of professionals, Hong Kong can contribute to the AIIB and further reinforce its position as an international financial centre.

Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office

117.    Riding on the Mainland's implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, Hong Kong can play an important role in facilitating infrastructure investment and financing in the region.  Established by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) last year, the Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office (IFFO) is tasked to pool a cluster of key stakeholders in various fields and enhance their knowledge and interest in investing in infrastructure and related projects.  The IFFO will continue to work with the key stakeholders in a bid to promote and develop Hong Kong as an infrastructure investment and financing centre.



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Last revision date : 22 February 2017