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FS outlines fiscal consolidation plan

In the 2024-25 Budget announced today, Financial Secretary Paul Chan proposed a number of measures to increase revenue and outlined a fiscal consolidation programme which aims to restore fiscal balance in a few years’ time.   Mr Chan said even though the Government strived to reduce expenditure as the COVID-19 pandemic had subsided, the total expenditure for 2023-24 reached $727.9 billion, representing an increase of 36.9% compared with 2018-19, of which operating expenditure rose substantially by 40.2% whereas operating revenue increased only 13.1%.   On capital works, owing to the fact that the Government has been pressing ahead with land and housing supply projects, along with other infrastructure works for improving the environment and people’s livelihood, the average annual expenditure has increased from about $76 billion over the past five years to about $85 billion in 2023-24.   Fiscal reserves have dropped to the current level of $733.2 billion.   Fiscal consoli

HK promotional work highlighted

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Algernon Yau today hosted a cocktail reception to update his guests on the work of the overseas Hong Kong Economic & Trade Offices (ETOs) and the Mainland Offices in promoting Hong Kong.


The 200 guests comprised representatives of consulates, chambers of commerce and major trade associations as well as members of relevant government boards and committees.


Heads of 14 ETOs and five Mainland Offices, who are in Hong Kong for an annual meeting, also attended the cocktail reception.


Addressing the reception, Mr Yau highlighted that the Government is committed to implementing various measures to assist Hong Kong people and businesses in seizing new opportunities and for the city to return to centre stage.


He thanked colleagues of the ETOs and the Mainland Offices for their efforts in fostering closer bilateral trade ties and cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and various economies, and keeping the concerning governments and contacts updated on Hong Kong’s latest developments.


The commerce chief also recognised the essential support rendered by the offices to senior government officials in their visits to long-standing and emerging markets.


Citing the relevant ETOs’ support for the Middle East and Association of Southeast Asian Nations missions led by the Chief Executive earlier this year as an example, Mr Yau said the two visits were highly successful in enhancing Hong Kong's connections with the two regions and telling the good stories of Hong Kong on all fronts.


He also pointed out that the 17 dedicated teams for attracting businesses and talent set up in the offices have been reaching out to target enterprises proactively, showcasing the city’s opportunities and advantages as well as the various schemes and new policy initiatives for attracting quality enterprises and talent.


"We will continue to proactively make efforts to explore business opportunities and enhance Hong Kong's position as an international trade and financial centre,” Mr Yau said, adding that the ETOs and the Mainland Offices will organise a variety of activities to strengthen the Hong Kong promotion.

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