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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

Qianhai development meeting held

Secretary for Constitutional & Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang and Shenzhen Vice Mayor Wang Shourui held the first meeting of the Task Force on the Development of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Co-operation Zone in Shenzhen today.


At the meeting, the governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen jointly learnt of the central government's requirements and objectives in regard to the Overall Development Plan for the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Co-operation Zone, and exchanged views on how to further promote the development of Qianhai and deepen the collaboration between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.


Mr Tsang remarked: “Qianhai is one of the major co-operation platforms in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.


“The development of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Co-operation Zone is an important initiative for supporting Hong Kong's social and economic development; fostering a higher level of co-operation among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau; and establishing a new development paradigm in pursuing opening up.”


He also said today's meeting will lay a more solid foundation for the governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen to jointly formulate the work of implementing the promotion of the development of Qianhai in the new era, and further enhance the high-quality co-operation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.


Mr Tsang noted that the Hong Kong SAR Government will continue to lead all sectors of the community proactively to fully seize the opportunities of developing the bay area together and make new and greater contributions to the high-quality development and high-level opening up of the country.


Both sides arrived at a strong consensus to press ahead at full steam with promoting the demonstrative and leading roles Qianhai plays in the development of the bay area, and further deepening the collaboration between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.


“Going forward, Hong Kong and Shenzhen will jointly enhance collaboration and, in keeping with the requirements of the Qianhai Overall Development Plan, step up efforts in promoting the development of modern service industries in the Qianhai Co-operation Zone, support Qianhai in continuing to pursue more policy breakthroughs on pilot basis, and assist Qianhai in expediting the alignment of rules and harmonisation of mechanisms, in order to contribute to the further reform and opening up,” Mr Tsang added.


Furthermore, the Qianhai Authority of Shenzhen, Invest Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the governments of Shenzhen's Nanshan and Bao'an districts signed a co-operation memorandum of understanding to jointly set up the Qianhai Hong Kong Enterprises Service Centre, which will provide one-stop services for Hong Kong residents and businesses engaging in entrepreneurship, investment and living in Qianhai, Shenzhen.


The Hong Kong and Shenzhen sides also witnessed the inauguration ceremony of the Qianhai Hong Kong Enterprises Service Centre and the Qianhai Hong Kong Youth Development Centre jointly set up by the Qianhai Authority and the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups at the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation & Entrepreneur Hub.

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