HKPC Welcomes Policy Address' SME Support Measures plus Innovation and Technology Promotion Efforts to Facilitate Growth during Tough Times

(Hong Kong, 16 October 2019) The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) welcomes a series of support measures for SMEs to tap into overseas markets and expand in the domestic market, and endeavour to drive forth the development of innovation and technology, enabling Hong Kong to move forward steadily.

In view of the challenge from the economic downturn, HKPC fully supports the initiatives mentioned in the Chief Executive’s 2019 Policy Address, including:

Support SMEs Development

  • To inject another HK$1 billion into the Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (BUD Fund) and double the funding ceiling per enterprise under its Mainland Programme and Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Programme to HK$2 million respectively. As the implementer of BUD Fund, HKPC will undertake the responsibility to promote the Fund, and become a trusted partner for SMEs to develop domestic sales, in ASEAN regions and with regions which Hong Kong has signed FTAs. Apart from processing funding applications, HKPC will facilitate the technical assessment through our expertise and professional knowledge.
  • Meanwhile, SME One under HKPC will work together with the SME service centres under the Trade and Industry Department, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation to provide information on various government funding schemes, so as to alleviate the financial burden of SMEs and Startups, and enable them to make use of existing resources to further their business development.
  • Besides, HKPC supports the Policy Address’ call for promotional activities in the Mainland and study missions to emerging markets. Such activities will help Hong Kong businesses identify and strengthen their supply chains, and extend their production lines to overseas markets for new opportunities. HKPC will continue to collaborate with other industry associations in organising study missions, to assess different markets and introduce new technologies, with its team of experts offering technical solutions to SMEs.
  • Recently, HKPC launched a series of guidebook of “Reindustrialisation in Hong Kong and Opportunities and Limitations for Hong Kong Enterprises Entering into ASEAN” to provide necessary information for SMEs to tap into business opportunities in ASEAN and extend their production to new markets.
  • Having earlier unveiled eight support measures to assist SMEs and startups, HKPC announced four concessions last month to enable them to make best use of resources for continuous development. These include:
    - 30% concession for labour portion of new R&D and consultancy projects (except government-funded consultancy projects);
    - 30% concession for labour portion of testing services;
    - 30% concession for HKPC venue rental;
    - “Buy-3-get-1-free” incentive for ALL corporate training courses.

Facilitate the Development of Innovation and Technology

  • HKPC welcomes the Policy Address’ proposal to extend the coverage of the Technology Talent Admission Scheme. The move will certainly benefit HKPC and other similar organisations in continuing to recruit R&D talents and facilitating the development of digital transformation in enterprises and Enterprise 4.0. With the Scheme being extended to cover new technology areas such as 5G telecommunications, IoT, artificial intelligence, coupled with the 5G base station at HKPC Building, it will assist with the continuous development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong.
  • HKPC strives to promote the development on artificial intelligence and robotics technologies in Hong Kong, and is favourable to the Policy Address’ support on such aspects. On top of the signing of a cooperation agreement with Beijing’s Tsinghua University earlier this year, HKPC will continue to implement its collaboration with RWTH Aachen Campus from Germany.
  • Apart from continuing its collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Innovation Node and local universities on innovation and R&D, HKPC also attaches great importance to nurturing local talent and will strengthen its synergy with local, Mainland and overseas academic institutes in promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education to raise up future innovators.
  • The Policy Address also mentioned the regularising of the Technology Voucher Programme since February 2019 and, in turn, HKPC has actively supported it by organising related information seminars for SMEs and startups, in helping them to achieve digital transformation with government funding.
  • Given the lack of technology talents in the market, HKPC strives to offer corporate training courses on new technologies through the Reindustrialisation and Technology Training Programme (RTTP), enabling companies to use government subsidies to boost their technology talent pools.

Promote the Development of Smart City

  • HKPC is dedicated to promoting the development of smart city in Hong Kong. Apart from facilitating related research on Gerontechnology, HKPC is proactively driving the development of Smart Mobility, and will definitely support related projects of the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong 2.0 in future.
  • HKPC welcomes the consideration of legislative amendments to stipulate the conditions and supporting measures required for trials of autonomous vehicles in the Policy Address. As the facilitator of autonomous vehicle technology, HKPC will focus on the development and testing of innovative technologies related to smart city and thus drive the development of Smart Mobility.
  • Earlier, the government administratively assigned a total of 1,200 MHz of high-band 5G spectrum, expecting operators to launch commercial 5G services in around 2020. Through the installation of a 5G base site within the HKPC Building, HKPC will spare no efforts in supporting the development of 5G and more innovative technologies and technical testing, including smart autonomous vehicle outdoor testing, which can further facilitate the development of the local applied technology for SMEs.

- Ends -