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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

CS concludes GBA visit

Chief Secretary Chan Kwok-ki today visited Shenzhen, the last stop of his three-day trip to the Greater Bay Area.

 

In the morning, Mr Chan toured the Vocational & Professional Education Services (Shenzhen) Company (VPES) - the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council's (VTC) first Mainland operation centre, where he received a briefing on its operations. He also spoke to VTC students and those attending Shenzhen Polytechnic University to learn about their joint scientific research projects.

 

During the session, Mr Chan was pleased to learn that VPES seeks to help more Hong Kong young people understand the country’s development, and at the same time endeavour to enable Mainland young people to learn about vocational training as well as different progression pathways in Hong Kong.

 

Afterwards, the Chief Secretary called on CPC Shenzhen Municipal Committee Secretary Meng Fanli and Shenzhen Mayor Qin Weizhong to discuss issues of mutual concern.

 

Mr Chan noted that Hong Kong and Shenzhen have been expediting the development of a co-operation zone in Hetao, adding that both cities will also fully leverage their “dual engine” roles to drive Qianhai development.

 

He also told the Shenzhen officials that Hong Kong will steadfastly implement the Northern Metropolis Action Agenda, with a view to achieving deeper integration with the planning of Shenzhen and other bay area cities, whilst enhancing Hong Kong’s integration into the national development.

 

Reiterating that Hong Kong will fully capitalise on its advantages under “one country, two systems”, Mr Chan added that he looked forward to Hong Kong and Shenzhen’s continued pursuit of deeper and higher-level co-operation to foster the bay area’s high-quality development.

 

Before heading back to Hong Kong, Mr Chan stopped by The University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital where he said he looked forward to the continued and steadfast implementation of the Framework Agreement on Medical Collaboration between Shenzhen and Hong Kong signed in September last year, to facilitate the flow of talent, medicine, medical devices and healthcare services as well as underpin the important national strategy of “Healthy China”.

 

Wrapping up his three-day visit to Guangzhou, Huizhou and Shenzhen, the Chief Secretary expressed confidence that the governments of bay area cities would make new contributions to the high-quality development of the Greater Bay Area and the country at large.


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