26 July 2023
The Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs (SUCCESS) run by the Trade and Industry Department (TID) provides small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with free business information and consultation services.
Our website: https://www.success.tid.gov.hk/en_landing.html
Our email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our customer hotline:（852）2398 5133
(Service hours of hotline and counters: Monday to Friday 8:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. & 1:30 p.m.-5:45 p.m., other than public holidays)
"Four-in-One" Integrated Services of SMEs Centres
To strengthen support for SMEs and to raise SMEs' awareness of the various funding schemes and support services, the TID consolidated the services of the existing four SMEs centres, namely, 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), in October 2019 to provide one-stop "Four-in-One" integrated services for SMEs. Enterprises can obtain business information, funding schemes information and advisory services, etc. at any of the centres. In addition, a web portal called "SME Link" is also established for SMEs to access information and support services provided by the four SMEs centres and government departments from a single online platform.
The Government provides over 40 funding schemes with different funding scopes, amounts and requirements to promote and support the development of enterprises and industries in Hong Kong. The "Government Funding Schemes" web page of the SME Link features information on these 40+ funding schemes, including overview and useful hyperlinks. The web page's search tool supports multiple search filters to facilitate enterprises identifying suitable funding schemes.
The "Events & Activities" of the SME Link facilitates enterprises to obtain information on activities organised by the four SMEs centres and various government departments, including seminars, workshops, exhibitions, conferences, training courses, etc., from a single platform, and also provides relevant links to facilitate registration.
I. Strategies for Building a Successful Brand (Seminar)
(This seminar will be held by SUCCESS on 3 August 2023 at Trade and Industry Tower)
A successful brand is the essence of a product, enabling SMEs to differentiate themselves in a competitive market. In this seminar, an expert will discuss the secret of selecting brand elements and share cases of successful brand, with a view to assisting start-ups and SMEs in strengthening market position and brand awareness. (This seminar will be conducted in Cantonese.)
II. Sustainable Human Resources Solutions for Workforce Challenges (Seminar)
(This seminar will be held by SUCCESS on 10 August 2023 at Trade and Industry Tower)
In the face of changing business environment, how can SMEs efficiently deal with various challenges in the labour market? In this seminar, a human resources and people development expert will explain Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)-focused human resources solutions, covering topics on establishing organisational resilience, leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) for talent management, integrating local and foreign work culture, and promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. The expert will also share real-life case studies, with a view to assisting SMEs in building strong corporate culture and achieving sustainable growth. (This seminar will be conducted in Cantonese.)
I. Form Filling Workshop (For Beginners) - Technology Voucher Programme (Webinar)
(This webinar will be live-streamed on 27 July 2023)
This webinar is organised by SME ReachOut. SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations. The Technology Voucher Programme (TVP) aims to support local enterprises / organisations in using technological services and solutions to improve productivity, or upgrade or transform their business processes. This webinar will share tips on applying for the TVP, including step-by-step form-filling guidance, as well as success stories. (This webinar will be conducted in Cantonese.)
II. How to use Spark AR and Blender to achieve Social Media Filter Marketing (Webinar)
(This webinar will be live-streamed on 27 July 2023)
This webinar is organised by the HKPC. SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations. This webinar will introduce how to use augmented reality (AR) technology to create filters on social media through Spark AR Studio, and use Blender to assist in making more realistic filter effects in order to enhance the effectiveness of digital marketing and strive for higher exposure and spread for brands. (This webinar will be conducted in Cantonese.)
More Details (in Chinese only)
III. Innopreneur Meet Up - From Data to Dollars : Maximising Profitability Through SMART Solutions (Event)
(This event will be held at the HKPC Building on 3 August 2023)
This event is organised by the HKPC. SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations. This event will share the latest digital solutions, tips for business sustainable transformation strategies, as well as relevant government funding support, with a view to encouraging SMEs to adopt digital transformation to enhance business processes, attract customers and improve competitiveness. (This event will be conducted in Cantonese.)
IV. Understanding the Profit Model of Web 3.0 Enterprise Digitalisation - Develop New Strategies for Chinese Internet Marketing (Webinar)
(This webinar will be live-streamed on 8 August 2023)
This webinar is organised by the HKPC. SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations. This webinar will introduce the latest development and trends of digital marketing in the Mainland, with a view to assisting enterprises in carrying out targeted online marketing and brand promotion campaigns in the Mainland market. (This webinar will be conducted in Cantonese.)
More Details (in Chinese only)
V. Webinar on “Resale Price Maintenance”
(This webinar will be live-streamed on 25 August 2023)
This webinar is organised by the Competition Commission. SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations. In this webinar, representatives from the Competition Commission will explain the key elements of Competition Ordinance and resale price maintenance. The webinar will also share practical tips for suppliers and distributors, as well as examples／case studies. (This webinar will be conducted in English.)
Intellectual Property Department: IP Training Programme “IP107 Special Session: Crypto, NFTs, metaverse and IP”
(This course will be live-streamed and held at the VTC Tower, Wan Chai on 4 August 2023)
This course aims to introduce the involvement of IP in the new technologies such as Crypto, NFTs and metaverse, allowing participants to be able to realise potential legal issues and protect their IP rights in the virtual world. The medium of instruction will be Cantonese. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the training course.
Interested participants may first enroll in the "IP Manager Scheme PLUS" for free by filling out an online form to get priority in course registration. Registration fee for the course is waived for members of the Scheme.
Working Group on Industrial, Commercial and Professional Sectors, Constitution and Basic Law Promotion Steering Committee
"The Constitution, the Basic Law and the Hong Kong National Security Law - Breaking new grounds, and achieving another leap forward"
The Working Group on Industrial, Commercial and Professional Sectors (the Working Group) under the Constitution and Basic Law Promotion Steering Committee formulates and implements action plans for the promotion of the Constitution, the Basic Law and the Hong Kong National Security Law among the industrial, commercial and professional sectors.
The Working Group released recently a promotional video with the theme "The Constitution, the Basic Law and the Hong Kong National Security Law - Breaking new grounds, and achieving another leap forward". The video illustrates that the Basic Law ensures the steadfast implementation of “One Country, Two Systems” in Hong Kong, which gives Hong Kong distinctive advantages; the Constitution is the legislative backing and source of power for the Basic Law; and the Hong Kong National Security Law safeguards our social stability, which is the cornerstone of economic development.
Please click here to watch the video.
Government welcomed passage of Bankruptcy and Companies Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2023
The Government welcomed the passage of the Bankruptcy and Companies Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2023 by the Legislative Council on 12 July 2023, which would enhance the quality and efficiency of the Official Receiver's Office (ORO)'s services.
The Bill would provide legal basis for the ORO's Electronic Submission System (ESS), streamline the publication requirements of insolvency and related notices, and introduce miscellaneous amendments.
"The ESS will enable stakeholders to submit documents through a convenient electronic means, thereby enhancing the ORO's services. Streamlining the publication requirements by making publishing the notices in the Government Gazette the only mandatory requirement will help reduce the publication cost," a spokesperson for the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau said.
The ESS will be implemented in phases starting from the end of 2023. The streamlined publication requirements of insolvency and related notices will also be implemented alongside the ESS by the end of 2023, in order to allow sufficient time for the industry to adapt to the new requirements.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202307/12/P2023071100415.htm.
Labour Importation Scheme for Construction Sector accepts applications till 16 August 2023
To cope with the manpower demand of the construction industry in pursuance of various infrastructural developments, the Chief Executive-in-Council has earlier endorsed the introduction of the Labour Importation Scheme for the Construction Sector (Construction Sector Scheme), which allows the importation of labour for the construction sector on an appropriate scale on the principle that employment priority for local workers will be safeguarded. The scheme, with a quota ceiling of 12 000, is open for applications from 17 July 2023.
A spokesman for the Development Bureau (DEVB) said, "The shortfall in construction manpower is anticipated to rise from the current 15 000 to 20 000, to over 40 000 in 2027. It is necessary to allow importation of labour on an appropriate scale as a supplementary measure to fill in the temporary manpower gap, so as to avoid any bottleneck caused by manpower shortage to the economic and infrastructural development of Hong Kong."
Under the Construction Sector Scheme, public sector construction works contracts with a contract value of no less than $1 billion will be accorded priority. Principal contractors of eligible works contracts may submit applications, for themselves or on behalf of their sub-contractors, for importing skilled labour and semi-skilled labour (hereafter collectively referred to as "skilled workers"), and technicians and site supervisory personnel. The imported labour must fall under the eligible trades/disciplines of the Construction Sector Scheme.
Having considered and taken on board the recommendations by the Task Force on Short-term Labour Supply of the Construction Industry Council and the Labour Importation Scheme for the Construction Sector Consultative Committee, which comprise employers, employees and training institutions' representatives from the construction sector, the Government has established 29 trades of skilled workers and 18 positions of technicians and site supervisory personnel (see Annex) as eligible for application under the Construction Sector Scheme as well as their respective employment terms and prevailing median wages. The relevant wage data regularly published by the Census and Statistics Department or the Vocational Training Council and the latest wage situations of the industry were also considered during the process. Applicants have to conduct local recruitment no more than four months preceding the submission of applications for importation quotas and according to the aforesaid employment terms and at a salary not lower than the prevailing median wages. Applications should only be submitted after a confirmation is made through local recruitment that sufficient local manpower cannot be so employed.
After the first application period which lasts from 17 July to 16 August, subsequent applications will be accepted on a quarterly basis (i.e. the second application period will be from 1 to 31 October and subsequent applications will be accepted each January, April, July and October). The Inter-departmental Committee of the Scheme will advise on each application for the consideration and decision by the Permanent Secretary for Development (Works). The application results will be issued to applicants within two months from the closing date of application.
An applicant is required to provide the imported labour residing in Hong Kong with accommodation at designated locations. Apart from providing on-site accommodation, the applicant can also rent the centralised quarter which is converted from the community isolation facility at Tam Mei. The conversion work is in progress with associated facilities being added for the quarter. The Construction Industry Council (CIC), which will manage the centralised quarter, is preparing for the operation and management arrangements. It is tentatively scheduled for commissioning in October and the operation arrangements will be announced separately. If approval has been given for the workers to arrive in Hong Kong before October, the applicant is allowed to arrange appropriate accommodation for the imported labour in the private market as an interim measure. The applicant has to make arrangements for the imported labour to move into the centralised quarter once it is available.
The application forms and details of the Construction Sector Scheme have been uploaded onto the DEVB webpage (https://www.devb.gov.hk/en/construction_sector_matters/css/index.html). Applicants shall submit the completed forms together with the required documents in person or by post to the DEVB. For enquiries, please call the hotline 3199 7128.
Upon its launch, the Construction Sector Scheme handles all quotas for importing construction labour. The Supplementary Labour Scheme implemented by the Labour Department no longer accepts applications for importation of labour for the construction sector.
The Task Force and the Consultative Committee will meet regularly to review and update the recommendations on eligible trades/disciplines, prevailing median wages and employment terms and to offer views to the DEVB on the overall operation of the scheme. The DEVB will also report to the Labour Advisory Board on the implementation of the Construction Sector Scheme half-yearly.
The spokesman stressed that the Construction Sector Scheme is a supplementary measure to fill in the temporary manpower gap. The Government and the construction sector have been undertaking multipronged measures to nurture local talent and address the manpower needs of the industry. In 2022, the Government allocated $1 billion to fund enhanced training and the promotion of the industry's prospects by the CIC. The Government has also injected a total sum of $2.2 billion into the Construction Innovation and Technology Fund to promote the use of innovative technologies in the industry to uplift productivity.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202307/13/P2023071300433.htm.
CFS webpage elaborates on new import control measures to be adopted over Japanese food
Following the earlier announcement by the Government about its plan to implement further import control measures for Japanese food once the Japanese side commences the discharge of nuclear wastewater, a spokesman for the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said on 14 July 2023 that the CFS has included on its webpage information and frequently asked questions and answers (FAQ) related to the new measures to facilitate the food trade's understanding and timely preparation.
The spokesman said, "The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government currently plans to prohibit the import of all aquatic products originating from 10 metropolis/prefectures, namely Tokyo, Fukushima, Chiba, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, Miyagi, Niigata, Nagano and Saitama, once the Japanese side commences the discharge of wastewater. These aquatic products include all live, frozen, chilled, dried, or otherwise preserved aquatic products, sea salt and raw or processed seaweeds."
The FAQ on the CFS webpage cover information on the types of aquatic products to be prohibited under the new measures, and whether the measures apply to aquatic products that originate from non-regulated prefectures and then are transshipped to the regulated metropolis/prefectures before importing into Hong Kong, as well as aquatic products that have been shipped or packed prior to the implementation of the new measures.
The spokesman stressed that the existing import control measures for non-aquatic products from Japan will be maintained after the new measures come into effect and that the new and existing measures will be implemented in parallel. The CFS will update the FAQ in a timely manner in response to the latest situation regarding Japan's discharge plan of nuclear wastewater and relevant risk assessments. For more information, the trade and members of the public may refer to the webpage.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202307/14/P2023071400405.htm.
Public consultation on assignment arrangements of spectrum in 6/7 GHz band launched till 15 August 2023
The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (SCED) and the Communications Authority (CA) jointly launched a public consultation on 18 July 2023 on arrangements for assignment of 400 MHz of spectrum in the 6/7 GHz band (6570-6770 MHz and 6925-7125 MHz) for the provision of public mobile services, and the methods for setting the related spectrum utilisation fee (SUF).
"Being the mid-band frequency blocks with the largest amount of spectrum available for mobile services, the 6/7 GHz band would enable the deployment of fifth generation (5G) mobile networks and services with speeds and capacity vital to the future sustainable development of digital economy and mobile broadband connectivity in Hong Kong," a spokesman for the CA said.
To enable the use of the 6/7 GHz band for the provision of public mobile services, the CA also proposes to amend the Hong Kong Table of Frequency Allocations to allocate the 6425-7075 MHz band to mobile service on a co-primary basis in addition to the existing allocations to fixed service and fixed satellite service (Earth-to-space).
As there are likely to be competing demands for the spectrum, the CA proposes to assign it by way of auction. Similar to the other spectrum assigned for public mobile services by way of auction, the SCED proposes that the SUF should reflect the full market value, and will set the auction reserve prices nearer the time.
"The auctioning of spectrum will ensure that such a scarce public resource be put into the hands of those who value it the most and will consequently put it to the most efficient use, thereby benefiting the general public at large," a spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) said.
Meanwhile, the CA has updated the Spectrum Release Plan (SRP) for 2023-2025 to inform the industry of the potential supply of spectrum in the 6570-6770 MHz and 6910-7125 MHz band for the provision of public mobile services. The updated SRP for 2023-2025 is available on the CA's website (www.coms-auth.hk/filemanager/en/content_613/updated_spectrum_plan2023_en.pdf).
Views and comments from the industry and other interested parties are welcome on or before 15 August 2023. After taking into account the views and comments received in response to the public consultation, the SCED and the CA target to make their respective decisions around the first half of 2024.
The consultation paper can be downloaded from the websites of the CEDB and the CA.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202307/18/P2023071800354.htm.
HKeToll implemented in Cross-Harbour Tunnel from 5am on 23 July 2023
The HKeToll has been implemented in the Cross-Harbour Tunnel from 5am on 23 July 2023. Motorists can drive through the toll plaza and pay tunnel tolls using HKeToll without having to stop or queue at toll booths for payments. All manual toll booths and Autotoll lanes have been cancelled.
As of 19 July 2023, about 800 000 vehicle tags had been issued, accounting for about 97 per cent of licensed vehicles in Hong Kong, of which about 85 per cent had opened HKeToll accounts. The HKeToll collected tolls of about 200 000 vehicle trips on an average per day at Tsing Sha Control Area, Shing Mun Tunnels and Lion Rock Tunnel. With the progressive implementation of the HKeToll in government tolled tunnels this year, the Transport Department (TD) once again appealed to vehicle owners to complete the three steps for HKeToll service as soon as possible: (1) install a vehicle tag, (2) open an HKeToll account and (3) set up an automatic payment means, so as to fully enjoy the convenience of the HKeToll.
If vehicle owners need assistance, they can browse the HKeToll website, call the 24-hour customer service hotline 3853 7333, or visit the four customer service centres, four service outlets, government car park service counters, and consultation counters located at designated MTR stations and Home Affairs Enquiry Centres in the District Offices. The locations and service hours of the facilities are shown in Annex.
Following the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, the Government plans to implement the HKeToll at the Western Harbour Crossing and the Eastern Harbour Crossing in August 2023. Details will be announced separately.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202307/20/P2023072000552.htm.
Report on "The Digitalisation of Financial Services in Hong Kong Recent Experience, Regulatory Developments and Considerations for Sustainable Innovation and Growth"
The Hong Kong Institute for Monetary and Financial Research (HKIMR), the research arm of the Hong Kong Academy of Finance (AoF), released on 12 July 2023 a new Applied Research report, titled "The Digitalisation of Financial Services in Hong Kong: Recent Experience, Regulatory Developments and Considerations for Sustainable Innovation and Growth".
The report reviews market and policy factors that have accelerated the digitalisation of financial services in Hong Kong in the past few years. It then discusses the implications of digitalisation for financial inclusion and environmental sustainability, as well as the associated risks for consumers, featuring insights from local financial institutions based on interviews commissioned by the HKIMR. The report also highlights the measures implemented both in Hong Kong and internationally to mitigate the potential risks and enhance consumer protection, and it concludes with considerations for sustainable innovation and growth in the digitalisation journey for financial services in Hong Kong.
The report is available on the AoF/HKIMR website.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202307/12/P2023071200507.htm.
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.
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 email@example.com or visit https://www.hkpc.org/en/support-resource/sme-one/sme-reachout.
Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (BUD Fund)
To further assist the trade in capturing business opportunities of post-epidemic recovery and in developing the huge domestic market of the Mainland and other markets outside Hong Kong with potential, "Easy BUD" was launched in June 2023 to expedite the processing of applications, thereby facilitating small and medium enterprises to expand their business swiftly. Under "Easy BUD", the application form, the requirements for supporting documents and the vetting arrangements have been simplified. The target processing time of "Easy BUD" applications is halved to within 30 working days as compared with general BUD applications.
HKPC as the BUD Fund implementation partner regularly organises seminars/webinars in order to enhance enterprises’ understanding of the BUD Fund, including "Easy BUD". For more details of the BUD Fund, please visit its website (https://www.bud.hkpc.org/en) 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 (https://cpas.icac.hk/EN/) 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": https://ip.gov.hk/en/home/consultation-service/index.html.
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.