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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

CE meets tech, culture officials

Chief Executive John Lee today called on the Ministry of Science & Technology and the Ministry of Culture & Tourism as he visited Beijing.

 

Meeting Minister of Science & Technology Yin Hejun, Mr Lee said the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is moving full steam ahead with the development of the Northern Metropolis, a project which provides key impetus for the development of Hong Kong and the promotion of high-quality co-operation within the Greater Bay Area.

 

Mr Lee added that to leverage the advantages of both places, the Hong Kong SAR Government is working with the Shenzhen Municipal Government to develop the Hetao Shenzhen‑Hong Kong Science & Technology Innovation Co‑operation Zone.

 

He also told Mr Yin that he would look forward to working with the ministry to strengthen co-operation between the Mainland and Hong Kong, and to expedite the development of Hong Kong into an international innovation and technology centre.

 

He stressed that Hong Kong will capitalise on its unique advantages to establish a collaborative innovation platform, with a view to pooling global innovation resources and better integrating into the country’s overall development.

 

Mr Lee then had a meeting with Party Secretary of the Ministry of Culture & Tourism Sun Yeli. During the session, he said the upcoming priorities of the Hong Kong SAR Government include attracting more high value-added overnight visitors by tapping into new source markets, stimulating spending by visitors, and promoting the high-quality development of tourism overall.

 

The Chief Executive said that as a melting pot of Chinese and Western cultures and a highly internationalised city, Hong Kong will act to promote traditional Chinese culture.

 

Mr Lee will continue his visit tomorrow morning and return to Hong Kong in the afternoon.


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