Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs
Thank you for your subscription to the E-newsletters and E-mail Alerts of the Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs (SUCCESS).  If you cannot read this E-newsletter, please click here.  For the privacy policy of SUCCESS, please click here.


26 January 2023

What's New
Topical Issues
Business News

The Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs (SUCCESS) is an information and advisory centre for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) run by the Trade and Industry Department (TID).  If you are looking for free business information and practical consultation services, please visit SUCCESS.  The counter service of SUCCESS has been resumed.  Meanwhile, webinars, Customer Hotline (Tel.: (852) 2398 5133) and Email Enquiry ( continue to be operated as usual. 

More Details

What's New

Events & Activities of the SME Link

To enhance the integrated services of the four existing SMEs centres, including the "SUCCESS" under the TID, the "SME Centre" under the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the "SME One" under the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) and the "TecONE" under the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), the TID has established a web portal called "SME Link" for SMEs to access comprehensive information and support services from a single online platform.  The "Events & Activities" of the SME Link facilitates enterprises to obtain information on SMEs related seminars/workshops/activities, including those organised by the four SMEs centres from a single platform, and also provides links to the relevant event web pages to facilitate registration. 

Please click here to browse the Events & Activities of the SME Link

SUCCESS-supported Activities

I. Managing trade receivable risks properly for capitalizing Greater Bay Area opportunities (Webinar)

(This webinar will be live-streamed on 2 February 2023)

This webinar is organised by the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC).  SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations.  This webinar will share the market overview and opportunities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), and also introduce the HKECIC's services and supportive measures for Hong Kong exporters.  (This webinar will be conducted in Cantonese.)

More Details

II. "Digital DIY" – Retail Solution Fair

(This event will be held at HKPC Building on 17 February 2023) 

This event is co-organised by the HKPC and the Hong Kong Retail Management Association.  SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations.  This event will share success stories of digital transformation, including online marketing, online-to-offline (O2O) operation and digital payment, big data application, as well as entering the GBA market.  The event will also introduce the funding schemes related to the retail industry, and booths will be set for introducing different solutions for digital transformation and providing on-site consultations, with a view to assisting the retail industry in making good use of digital transformation solutions on formulating business strategies.  (This event will be conducted in Cantonese.)

More Details (in Chinese only)

Intellectual Property Department: IP Training Programme “IP103 Registration and application procedure of IP rights in Hong Kong”

(This course will be conducted at the VTC Tower, Wan Chai on 23 February 2023)

“IP103 Registration and application procedure of IP rights in Hong Kong” aims at enabling participants to comprehend the registration and application procedures of various IP rights in Hong Kong and thereby formulate effective IP registration strategies for the enterprises.  This course will be conducted in Cantonese.

Interested participants may first enroll in the “IP Manager Scheme PLUS” for free by filling out an online form.  Registration fee for the course is waived for members of the Scheme.  Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the course.

More Details

Government fine-tuned mask-wearing requirements in certain premises with effect from 26 January 2023

The Government announced on 20 January 2023 fine-tuning the mask-wearing requirements in certain premises with effect from 26 January 2023 after taking into consideration the operational needs of these premises.  Mask-wearing has been exempted under the following scenarios after the fine-tuning:

(1) when delivering a speech to participants in a religious activity as a host or speaker in a religious premises;
(2) when consuming food or drink at a table or an exhibition booth during an exhibition activity in a place of public entertainment or event premises; and
(3) when toasting on stage at an event in catering premises or any scheduled premises.

The overall mask-wearing requirements (including exemptions) applicable to catering business premises and scheduled premises from 26 January 2023 onwards are set out in Annex.

Hong Kong is currently in the midst of the winter surge of influenza, and the COVID-19 virus still poses a threat to the community, in particular the elderly and children, and may pose risks and burden to the healthcare system.  The Government appeals to members of the public to continue to remain vigilant and observe personal hygiene to reduce the risk of infection.  COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in reducing severe cases and deaths.  Members of the public should arrange the required dosage of COVID-19 vaccination for their elderly and children as early as possible so that they can get protection early.

For relevant press release, please visit

Government cancels arrangement of issuing isolation orders with effect from 30 January 2023

The Government announced on 19 January 2023 that, following three years of COVID-19 epidemic in Hong Kong, with the ever evolvement of the virus and Omicron becoming the predominating variant, coupled with the enhancement of prevention and treatment capacities of the healthcare system and the handling capacity of society as a whole, the risk posed by COVID-19 to local public health has apparently altered.  Considering the balance between infection risks and resumption of economic and livelihood impetus, the Government decided to cancel the arrangement of issuing isolation orders to infected persons according to the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation (Cap. 599A) from 30 January 2023.

To continue the gradual resumption to normalcy of society, the management and handling of the epidemic could be progressed to a new stage and mode by changing compulsory isolation regulations to self-decision by the public.  The Government will cancel the compulsory isolation arrangement for infected persons, and advice on health measures would instead be issued to them.  Apart from that, the Government will adjust the scope of target groups for free nucleic acid testing services at community testing centres/stations, including the termination of free testing provided for persons undergoing voluntary testing at appropriate times according to the situation, and to focus resources in protecting high-risk premises and groups in need of regular nucleic acid testing.

Nonetheless, as COVID-19 still brings risk and pressure to the community, especially among the young and old, as well as the healthcare system, and as there is still uncertainty in global epidemic situation, the Emergency Response Level for the COVID-19 epidemic will be maintained until further notice.  The Government will also encourage members of the public who are in need of testing or are symptomatic to conduct rapid antigen tests (RATs) on their own or to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Having considered that some infected persons may wish to stay at the community isolation facilities (CIF) to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the household if their living environment is crowded or their household members fall into high-risk groups, the CIFs will remain in operation for a short period of time for use by Hong Kong residents.  Recently infected persons who are Hong Kong residents and need to stay at CIFs may contact the Fire Services Department (Whatsapp platform: 5233 2939; Email:; WeChat: fsd_cif) for transfer arrangement if needed and can stay at the CIF for up to seven days.  If they choose to leave the CIF earlier, negative results by RATs are not required but they cannot return to the CIF once they have left.  Separately, residents at residential care homes who are infected and have received less than three doses of vaccine can be arranged to stay at the holding centres managed by the Social Welfare Department where care services are available.  Residents who develop serious symptoms, regardless of the number of vaccine doses they have received, will be assessed by healthcare professionals based on their symptoms and conditions and be sent to hospitals for treatment if needed.  The above transitional arrangement of CIFs and holding centres will last until 28 February 2023.

Starting from 30 January 2023, the Government will revise the reporting criteria of COVID-19 under which doctors only need to report to the CHP death cases and severe cases.  The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) will issue letters to all doctors to inform them of the arrangement.  As regards the monitoring of the epidemic and disseminating related information, the CHP will upload onto the "COVID-19 Thematic Website" ( every day the number of specimens that tested positive by nucleic acid tests as well as the number of death cases reported by doctors and hospitals in lieu of the current practice of issuing press releases.  Acting upon the World Health Organization (WHO)'s advice, the CHP will continue to monitor the development of the COVID-19 mutant strains by monitoring the surveillance data of sewage samples collected by the Environmental Protection Department in various districts and conducting COVID-19 genetic testing for in-patients.  Relevant data will be reported to the WHO regularly.  Together with the general out-patient clinics and private medical practitioners under the sentinel surveillance system, the CHP will monitor the weekly number of patients seeking medical consultation after being infected with COVID-19.  Such surveillance data will be shared with doctors under the sentinel surveillance system.

For relevant press release, please visit


Government adjusted evaluation criteria for COVID-19 nucleic acid test results with effect from 16 January 2023

The Government announced on 13 January 2023 adjustment of the evaluation criteria for COVID-19 nucleic acid test results with effect from 16 January.  Test results issued from that day with a Ct value of 35 or above would be regarded as negative for purposes other than clinical management.

In view of the development of the epidemic and given that case results of COVID-19 nucleic acid tests with a Ct value of 35 or above are generally not associated with infectiousness, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health, after assessing relevant risks, decided that persons with results of nucleic acid tests at a Ct value of 35 or above would not be regarded as confirmed cases starting from 0.00am on 16 January 2023.  In this regard, relevant persons would not be issued with isolation orders (i.e. no home isolation would be required, nor would they be sent to community isolation facility).  This arrangement is conducive to further resumption of normalcy in society as a whole.

Starting from 16 January 2023, all local COVID-19 RT-PCR testing institutions recognised by the Hong Kong SAR Government ( (including community testing centres/stations in various districts) regard all those results of nucleic acid tests with a Ct value of 35 or above as negative for purposes other than clinical management.  All test results issued since 16 January will adopt the adjusted evaluation criteria, regardless of whether the specimen collection was carried out on or before 16 January.  The above adjusted criteria also apply to free and self-paid tests conducted by community testing centres/stations, and the self-paid negative test reports can also be used for cross-boundary travelling purposes.

The CHP has notified the private medical testing institutions recognised by the Government of the aforesaid adjustments to make corresponding changes and implement relevant arrangements.

For persons who tested positive before 16 January by nucleic acid tests with a Ct value of 35 or above and are still holding isolation orders that are in force, the CHP has notified them by SMS before noon on 16 January that they are no longer required to undergo isolation and their isolation orders are cancelled.  The Government has also arranged discharge of relevant persons in isolation facilities in an orderly manner.

If isolated persons do not receive active notification by the CHP, they must continue to undergo isolation in accordance with the conditions of the isolation orders until they obtain negative rapid antigen test (RAT) results for two consecutive days starting from the 4th day after their positive test.

Separately, as there is no Ct value for RAT which has a lower sensitivity than nucleic acid test, positive test by RAT indicates a higher viral load.  Hence, the aforesaid arrangement does not affect all positive cases with positive RAT results reported through the "Declaration System for Individuals Tested Positive for COVID-19 Using Rapid Antigen Test" and they should continue to be isolated according to the conditions as originally stipulated in their isolation orders.

Members of the public and passengers may conduct self-paid tests at accredited medical testing institutions (including community testing centres/stations) to obtain test result report for travelling purposes.  Currently, all persons entering the Mainland from Hong Kong must hold negative results of self-paid nucleic acid test.  If the results are positive (i.e. Ct value below 35), regardless of its Ct value, they cannot enter the Mainland.

For relevant press release, please visit

Service resumption of Hong Kong section of Express Rail Link from 15 January 2023

After co-ordinating with the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Shenzhen Municipal Government, and with the full co-operation of the China State Railway Group Co., Ltd (CR), the China Railway Guangzhou Group Company Limited (GRC) and the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL), approval has been obtained from the Central Government to resume services of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) West Kowloon Control Point and the XRL Hong Kong Section starting from 15 January 2023.

At the initial stage of resumption of the XRL, services between Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and Futian, Shenzhenbei and Guangzhounan Stations have been resumed, while services to/from Guangzhoudong newly introduced.  The trains are calling at Guangmingcheng, Humen, Qingsheng, and the newly added Dongguannan and Dongguan Stations.

The opening hours of the XRL West Kowloon Control Point remain the same as that before service suspension, i.e. from 6:30am to 11:30pm.  There is no booking requirement at this control point.  Passengers who have purchased tickets can travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland through the control point with a valid ticket.  As for the anti-epidemic measure, similar to other control points, generally persons entering the Mainland from Hong Kong, or vice versa, must possess a negative result of a COVID-19 nucleic acid test conducted within 48 hours.

For relevant press release, please visit

Chief Executive in Council adopted recommendation on Statutory Minimum Wage rate

The Chief Executive in Council has adopted the recommendation of the Minimum Wage Commission (MWC) on raising the Statutory Minimum Wage (SMW) rate from its prevailing level of $37.5 per hour to $40, an increase of $2.5 or 6.7 per cent.

The Government published the Minimum Wage Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 3) Notice 2023 ( in the Gazette on 13 January 2023 and tabled it in the Legislative Council (the LegCo) on 18 January.  Subject to the approval of the LegCo, the revised SMW rate will come into force on 1 May 2023, Labour Day.

The "2022 Report of the Minimum Wage Commission" has been uploaded to the MWC's website ( 

The Government also published the Employment Ordinance (Amendment of Ninth Schedule) Notice 2023 ( in the Gazette on 13 January 2023, and also tabled it in the LegCo on 18 January.  The Notice amends the monthly monetary cap on recording the total number of hours worked.  An employer will be exempted from the requirement of recording the total number of hours worked by an employee in a wage period if wages payable to the employee for that wage period are not less than $16,300 (currently $15,300) per month.  In tandem with the commencement of the revised SMW rate, the revised monetary cap will come into force on the same day on which the revised rate takes effect, that is, 1 May 2023.

For relevant press release, please visit

Passage of Companies (Amendment) Bill 2022

The Government welcomed the passage of the Companies (Amendment) Bill 2022 by the LegCo on 18 January 2023, which provides flexibility for companies to hold general meetings in various manners.

The manner of holding a general meeting is governed by the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622), the relevant subsidiary legislation, as well as the company's own articles of association.  The amended Companies Ordinance expressly caters for the scenario of local companies holding fully virtual or hybrid general meetings, without limiting them to physical venues.

The amended Ordinance will be published in the Gazette on 27 January 2023, and will come into operation on the expiry of three months after the day on which it is gazetted (i.e. 28 April 2023) so as to allow sufficient time for the trade to prepare and communicate with its members.  The Companies Registry will also issue guidelines and organise talks for companies to ensure smooth implementation of the new arrangements.

For relevant press release, please visit

Passage of Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill 2022

The Government welcomed the LegCo's passage of the Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill 2022 on 18 January 2023.  It gives effect to the proposed exemption of stamp duty payable for certain transactions relating to dual-counter stock made by market makers.

The amended Ordinance will come into operation on the gazettal day (27 January 2023).  The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited plans to formally launch the Dual Counter Market Making Programme in the first half of 2023 upon finalising the implementation details.

For relevant press release, please visit


Home and Youth Affairs Bureau launched new round of Youth Start-up Internship Programme with Cyberport and HKSTP

The Home and Youth Affairs Bureau (HYAB) partnering with the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited (Cyberport) and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) launched the Youth Start-up Internship Programme (YSIP) 2023 on 11 January 2023 to provide young people with internship opportunities at local start-ups.

The Chief Executive stated in his 2022 Policy Address that the Government should create opportunities for children to develop and flourish while nurturing a new generation of young people having an affection for the country and for Hong Kong and possessing global perspectives, who will contribute to the development of the country and the city.  The HYAB has recently published the first edition of the Youth Development Blueprint (Annex) which outlines the principles, objectives and actions of the Government in pursuing youth development work.

The Blueprint sets out that the Government will deepen young people's understanding of Hong Kong's development into the "eight centres" as laid out in the National 14th Five-Year Plan and the related opportunities, and also provide them with more internship, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in relevant fields.  In this connection, the HYAB will regularise and expand the YSIP, with a view to providing young people with more internship opportunities at start-ups and fostering their interest in pursuing a career in innovation and technology (I&T) such that they can seize the opportunities brought about by Hong Kong's development into an international I&T centre.

The HYAB co-organised the YSIP with Cyberport for the first time in September 2021 on a pilot basis to provide 100 internship placements, which was well-received by young people and start-ups.  Following the success of the pilot programme, the HYAB has expanded the scope of the YSIP this time.  HKSTP has joined this latest round.  Together, Cyberport and the HKSTP will provide a total of 200 internship placements under the YSIP, doubling the number in previous round.  Moreover, some of the placements can be extended from the original three months to six months, so that young people could have a longer placement period to gain in-depth understanding about the operation of start-ups and the I&T ecosystem in Hong Kong, facilitating their consideration of whether to pursue entrepreneurship in future.  In addition, the YSIP can help nurture I&T talents in support of Hong Kong's overall direction of promoting I&T development.

The internship placements cover various disciplines, such as data analysis, software engineering, marketing, business development and design.  The Government will provide subsidy to participating companies to engage interns on a full-time, part-time or mixed basis.  Applicants should be local full-time post-secondary students (including sub-degree, undergraduate and post-graduate students) and Hong Kong permanent residents.  Apart from internship placements, Cyberport and the HKSTP will also arrange a series of training and entrepreneurship activities for the interns.

Details of the YSIP and information about the placements offered are now available on the dedicated webpages of Cyberport and the HKSTP (Cyberport:; HKSTP:  Interested young people should submit applications to companies via the webpages.  Upon receipt of applications, participating companies will conduct assessment and selection for implementing the internship arrangements.

For relevant press release, please visit

Expanded programme of Centre of Excellence for Major Project Leaders launched

The Centre of Excellence for Major Project Leaders (CoE) under the Development Bureau launched the 2023 Major Projects Leadership Programme (MPLP) on 12 January 2023, extending the training to stakeholders outside the Government.  Overwhelming responses from top management of various international engineering consultants, contractors and public bodies have been received.

As the flagship programme of the CoE, the MPLP is designed and delivered by the Oxford Saïd Business School with an aim of offering a high-level project management and leadership development programme to major project leaders so as to uplift overall performance and cost effectiveness of public works projects.  The 12-month MPLP includes international classes at Oxford and local classes, and is supported by personal coaching and professional assessment.  About 50 graduates from various Government policy bureaux, departments and public bodies successfully completed the programme in 2020.

The Financial Secretary announced in his 2022-23 Budget Speech the extension of the training of the CoE to stakeholders outside the Government with a view to jointly taking forward the long-term major development plans of Hong Kong.

For relevant press release, please visit


Topical Issues

Support Measures relating to Liquidity

In view of the cash-flow pressure of SMEs, SUCCESS has compiled a summary of support measures relating to liquidity.

More Details

SME ReachOut

Amid difficult business environment, HKPC knows SMEs are in the urgent need of cash to keep business running.  The "SME ReachOut" support team is here to help SMEs well equip for bouncing back, through introducing and matching the appropriate funding schemes.

"SME ReachOut", a dedicated service team operated by HKPC, has commenced operation starting from 1 January 2020 to support SMEs through free-of-charge one-on-one meetings.  The team would help SMEs identify funding schemes that suit their needs, while answering questions relating to applications.

There are over 40 funding schemes provided by the Government for SMEs, with different funding scopes, amounts and requirements.  "SME ReachOut" serves to enhance SMEs' understanding of the Government's funding schemes, with a view to encouraging better utilisation of the support provided by the Government, and to enhancing their competitiveness and development.

For further information or enquiries, please contact "SME ReachOut" Hotline / WhatsApp (Text Message Only) at 2788 6868 or email by or visit


Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (BUD Fund)

The TID rolled out enhancements to the BUD Fund on 7 November 2022.

The cumulative funding ceiling per enterprise of the BUD Fund has been raised from $6 million to $7 million and the maximum number of approved projects per enterprise has been increased from 60 to 70.

HKPC as the BUD Fund implementation partner regularly organises seminars/webinars in order to enhance enterprises’ understanding of the BUD Fund.  For more details of the BUD Fund, please visit its website ( or contact the HKPC at 2788 6088.

Corruption Prevention Advisory Service (CPAS) of ICAC

A good governance system is vital for SMEs' effective operation, and can help sustain their company image and hence counterparts' confidence in doing business with them.  The Corruption Prevention Department of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has launched the Corruption Prevention Advisory Service (CPAS).  The CPAS is a specialised unit dedicated to providing tailor-made, free and confidential corruption prevention advice on system control in common business areas such as procurement and staff administration.  Enterprises can access its user-friendly web portal ( for details of the services and to get timely and useful resources on corruption prevention such as staff code of conduct, corruption prevention guides and tools, case studies, quick tips and red flags.

To receive regular updates on corruption prevention, please click here to subscribe to the CPAS e-news.

Free IP Consultation Service

The Intellectual Property Department (IPD), supported by the Law Society of Hong Kong, now provides FREE One-On-One IP Consultation Service for SMEs.  To obtain more information and/or apply for the Service, please visit IPD's dedicated website "Hong Kong – Regional IP Trading Centre":

The Road to Net Zero: Choosing the Green Route (Webinar)

(This webinar will be live-streamed on 27 January 2023)

This webinar is organised by the HKTDC. With the importance of sustainable development being highlighted by the COVID-19 epidemic, carbon emission reduction and other climate change mitigation measures are becoming significant factors that affect business decisions.  Many businesses are recalibrating their supply chain strategies and shifting to a more sustainable approach by incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations.  This webinar will focus on how enterprises can evaluate and recalibrate their supply chain strategies to better balance sustainable development and business profitability.  (This webinar will be conducted in Cantonese.)

More Details



Business News

GDETO Newsletter

The latest issue of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong (GDETO) Newsletter has been published.

More Details (in Chinese only)

Commercial Information Circulars (CICs) of the Mainland

The TID issued a number of Commercial Information Circulars (CICs) on the Mainland's trade and economic rules and regulations.  The latest CICs have been published. 

More Details

About Us | Membership | Disclaimer | Contact Us
Copyright © 2005 Trade and Industry Department, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.  All Rights Reserved.
Please do not reply to this email.  For enquiries, please contact SUCCESS at tel: 2398 5133 or e-mail:

If you do not wish to receive SUCCESS e-newsletter and e-mail alerts, simply send us an e-mail at with the subject of "Cancel E-newsletter/E-mail Alert Subscription".