Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Washington DC
Hong Kong
Chief Executive delivers 2017 Policy Address

Hong Kong Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, today (January 28, 2017) outlined plans in his 2017 Policy Address to develop the economy and improve people’s livelihood.

“We believe that only through economic development can we improve people’s livelihood and promote social harmony and inclusion,” Mr Leung said, delivering his fifth and final Policy Address, “Make Best Use of Opportunities, Develop the Economy, Improve People’s Livelihood, Build an Inclusive Society”.

On economic development, Mr Leung said the National 13th Five-Year Plan and the Belt and Road Initiative would provide new opportunities for Hong Kong in areas such as financial and professional services, as well as innovation and technology (I&T).

The Government would actively consider the recommendations on the sustainable development of Hong Kong’s financial market and financial services sector by the Financial Services Development Council concerning taxation, laws and regulations, nurturing talent, etc., and take forward the feasible measures.

The Government will also invite the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to strengthen overseas promotion of Hong Kong’s financial services industry.

Mr Leung said Hong Kong would expand its network of offices in the Mainland and overseas to promote Hong Kong’s strengths and advantages, with preliminary work under way to set up five new Economic and Trade Offices in India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

Four new Liaison Offices supporting the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s work in the Mainland would be set up by mid-year in Tianjin, Zhejiang, Guangxi and Shaanxi, bringing the total number of Liaison Offices to 11 compared to three before the current-term Government took office.

To give full play to Hong Kong’s role as a “super-connector” for the Belt and Road Initiative, more staffing resources would be given to the Belt and Road Office to formulate and implement strategies on a long-term basis. Hong Kong and countries along the Belt and Road would consider relaxing visa requirements to facilitate movement and boost people-to-people bonds.

Mr Leung said the Government had invested HK$18 billion (US$2.3 billion) to enhance Hong Kong’s I&T ecosystem and would consider support measures such as offering tax and financial concessions to attract I&T enterprises from Hong Kong, the Mainland and overseas.

An InnoCell would be established adjacent to the Science Park to provide accommodation and facilities such as shared work spaces for leasing to staff of incubatees and start-ups at the Park.

On housing supply, the Chief Executive projected private housing supply of 94,000 units in the coming three to four years, which is 45 per cent higher than the figure at the beginning of the current-term Government. It is estimated that 94,500 public housing units would be developed by the Hong Kong Housing Authority and the Hong Kong Housing Society in the five-year period starting 2016-17.

Based on land supply in the short and medium terms through changing land uses and increasing development intensity, over 380,000 residential units will be provided while in the medium and long terms new development areas and new town extensions as well as potential railway property development projects being planned can provide over 8.6 million square meters of industrial and commercial floor area as well as over 220,000 residential units. The first population intake is expected in six to 10 years.

The Chief Executive also announced other measures, including those to help the elderly, enhance retirement protection, and improve healthcare services.

2017 Policy Address: http://www.policyaddress.gov.hk/2017/index.html

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