Hong Kong To Lure Businesses

Hong Kong To Spend HK$30bil To Lure Businesses

HONG KONG – With the Chinese territory losing thousands of residents since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee announced that the government will allocate HK$30 billion (US$3.8 billion) to attract investment and businesses into the global financial hub, reported CNBC on Wednesday noon (19 October, SGT).

The city’s government also plans to introduce a top talent pass scheme to “entice talents to pursue their careers in Hong Kong.”

“Over the past two years, the local workforce shrank by about 140,000. Apart from actively nurturing and retaining local talents, the government will proactively trawl the world for talents,” said Lee during his first policy address on Wednesday.

To qualify for a 2-year pass “for exploring opportunities in Hong Kong,” one must earn at least US$318,000 per year, or is a graduate of one the top 100 universities in the world and have 3 years of work experience in the last 5 years.

Foreigners who take up the talent pass scheme, buy a home in Hong Kong, and become a permanent resident (PR) will be able to get a refund of buyer’s stamp duty and new residential stamp duty for their first property purchase.

“The arrangement applies to any sale and purchase agreement entered from today,” Lee clarified.

Moreover, he announced measures that will improve Hong Kong’s competitiveness as a financial centre, including making it easier for some firms to list in the Chinese territory.

In particular, bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) plans to amend the listing rules for its main board in 2023 “to facilitate fundraising of advanced technology enterprises that have yet to meet the profit and trading record requirements,” he revealed.

Furthermore, the authorities intend to support the tech industry.

“Our goal is to attract not less than 100 high-potential or representative [technology and innovation] enterprises to set up or expand their businesses in Hong Kong in the coming 5 years,” said Lee, adding that this could attract HK$10 billion in investment and generate jobs.

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