Business and Professional Services
108. The Government is committed to expanding its network of Economic and Trade Offices (ETOs). At present, we have 12 overseas ETOs. To enhance trade relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), open up the emerging opportunities there, as well as actively participate in and support the Belt and Road Initiative, the Chief Executive announced that an ETO would be set up in Thailand. We are in close liaison with the Thai government to this end. Regarding our proposal to set up new ETOs in countries including Korea, India, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, we are actively following up with the governments concerned.
109. The Government has launched the Professional Services Advancement Support Scheme to provide funding support for business and professional organisations, thereby facilitating external promotion and enhancement of Hong Kong's professional services. I encourage the professional services sector to work with other sectors in applying for funding and exploring new business opportunities.
Support for Small and Medium Enterprises
110. Hong Kong is home to about 330 000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), accounting for over 98 per cent of the total number of local enterprises. To help SMEs, including start-ups, grasp economic opportunities and boost their competitiveness, I will enhance the current funding schemes as follows:
111. The Information Services Department, our ETOs overseas and in the Mainland, InvestHK and the HKTDC will strengthen collaboration and take a more proactive approach in promoting our advantages overseas and attracting investments to Hong Kong.