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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

FS meets leaders at global forum

Financial Secretary Paul Chan met various political and business leaders and gave two speeches at the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland yesterday.

 

Mr Chan attended bilateral meetings with a number of financial and economic officials from the Middle East and Central Asia.

 

These included Bahrain’s Minister of Finance & National Economy Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and its Minister of Industry & Commerce Abdulla Adel Fakhro. He also met Qatar’s Minister of Finance Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari and Kazakhstan’s Minister of National Economy Alibek Kuantyrov.

 

Mr Chan invited countries in the Middle East and Central Asia to make use of Hong Kong’s highly efficient and robust financial market to facilitate the development, promotion and financing of enterprises and projects.

 

He also met Minister of Economy & Finance of Italy Giancarlo Giorgetti and Governor of the Central Reserve Bank of Peru Julio Velarde Flores. They exchanged views on the current global financial environment and geopolitical situation, as well as on green transformation.

 

During a keynote speech at a lunch event, Mr Chan said that China continues to be open to the world and will continue to create strong momentum for the development of the world economy.

 

He added that through leveraging the unique advantages of “one country, two systems”, Hong Kong is striving to enhance its position as an international financial centre, and acts as a bridge between the Mainland and the world to forge win-win co-operation.

 

The finance chief then joined a China-themed event in the evening. He delivered a speech at the dinner outlining Hong Kong’s role as a connector and a gateway in assisting the economic development of China and Asia.

 

Mr Chan also gave interviews to Hong Kong, Mainland and international media.


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