9 August 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: email@example.com
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.
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. Branding to Win Seminar 2023: Embrace the Sustainable Era of “ESG + Branding” (Seminar)
(This seminar will be held at the HKTDC SME Centre on 30 August 2023)
This seminar is co-organised by the Hong Kong Brand Development Council, the TID, the HKTDC and the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong. SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations. This seminar will explore the new brand development trend in Hong Kong under the impacts of surging Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) trend, with a view to assisting local companies in understanding and utilising "ESG +" to reconstruct brand management for achieving sustainable growth in brand value. (This seminar will be conducted in Cantonese.)
II. Build a Secure Cyberspace 2023 “Protect Your Online Identity” Seminar and Speech Contest Award Ceremony
(This event will be held at the Quarry Bay Community Hall on 22 September 2023)
This event is co-organised by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO), the Hong Kong Police Force and the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre. SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations. In this event, experts will share useful tips and advice on the protection of digital identities, with a view to assisting the public and SMEs in mitigating the damages caused by identity theft and enhancing cyber security. (This event will be conducted in Cantonese.)
Intellectual Property Department: IP Training Programme “IP106 Patent Basics”
(This course will be live-streamed and held at the VTC Tower, Wan Chai on 18 August 2023)
This course aims at enabling participants to grasp the basic concepts of patents, including the patent protection system, the method and process of patent registration and the application of patent information in research and business. 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.
The Abolition of MPF Offsetting Arrangement
The Government has announced that the abolition of using the accrued benefits of employers' mandatory contributions under the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) System to offset severance payment (SP) and long service payment (LSP) (offsetting arrangement) will be implemented on 1 May 2025. The Labour Department has set up a thematic website to provide information about the abolition of offsetting arrangement and Government Subsidy Scheme. The website also provides a calculating tool, “EasyCal”, as well as examples, to help employers and employees calculate the amount of SP/LSP and the Government subsidy after the abolition of offsetting arrangement.
Thematic Website on the Abolition of MPF Offsetting Arrangement
Meeting the "BRANDers" – The BUD Fund - Interview with Elegance Garment Factory
To encourage and assist Hong Kong enterprises in developing their own brands and promoting their brands in the Mainland and overseas markets, the TID conducts interviews with representatives of local brands and experts so as to share their success stories and business strategies with the industries. The TID has earlier on interviewed Mr Ziggy Hui, Director of Elegance Garment Factory (Elegance), to understand more about the company’s business strategies, and how Elegance has made use of the BUD Fund to promote its brand and expand business in the Mainland during the COVID-19 pandemic.
More Details (in Chinese only)
2023 Innovation and Technology Support Programme (Platform & Seed) open for applications until 27 October 2023
The Innovation and Technology Commission is inviting applications for the 2023 Innovation and Technology Support Programme (ITSP) (Platform & Seed) from 24 July 2023 until 27 October 2023.
The ITSP (Platform & Seed) provides funding support for platform and seed research and development (R&D) projects undertaken by designated local public research institutes and R&D centres. Platform projects are applied R&D projects that are industry-oriented and have potential for commercialisation, while seed projects are exploratory and forward-looking projects.
Further information is available on the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) website (www.itf.gov.hk/en/funding-programmes/supporting-research/itsp/itsp-platform-seed/index.html). For enquiries, please contact the ITF Secretariat (Tel: 3655 5678; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202307/24/P2023072100240.htm.
Extension of visa-free period for HKSAR passport holders to Malaysia
The period of visa-free entry for holders of HKSAR passport to Malaysia has been extended from up to 1 month to 90 days.
An Immigration Department spokesman said, "Malaysia is along the Belt and Road. Under the Belt and Road Initiative, this extension of period of visa-free entry will bring greater travel convenience to holders of HKSAR passport and strengthen the tourism, cultural and economic ties between the two places."
As of 27 July 2023, 168 countries and territories have granted visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to holders of HKSAR passport. Please visit the following website for details: www.immd.gov.hk/eng/service/travel_document/visa_free_access.html.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202307/27/P2023072700697.htm.
Property Management Services Ordinance fully implemented
The three-year transitional period for the Property Management Services Ordinance (Cap. 626) (PMSO) ended on 31 July 2023. Starting from 1 August 2023, all companies providing properties subject to deeds of mutual covenant with more than one category of prescribed property management (PM) services, as well as PM practitioners (PMPs) serving a managerial or supervisory role in such PM companies (PMCs), must hold a valid licence in accordance with the PMSO.
The Property Management Services Authority (PMSA) is responsible for the implementation of the licensing regime under the PMSO. The PMSO provides for a single-tier licensing regime of PMCs, which are business entities that carry on the business of providing PM services. The PMSO also provides for a two-tier licensing regime of PMPs (i.e. PMP (Tier 1) licence and PMP (Tier 2) licence). Only those PMPs who assume a managerial or supervisory role in a PMC in relation to PM services provided by the PMC will be subject to licensing. Frontline staff will not be required to obtain PMP licences.
As of 30 July 2023, the PMSA has issued formal licences to 747 PMCs and nearly 12 000 PMPs.
"The PMSA has been actively taking forward the full implementation of the licensing regime. The PMSA has issued licences to PMCs that are required to be licensed under the PMSO. The PM industry should be able to smoothly transfer to the new regulatory regime," a spokesman for the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau (HYAB) said.
The spokesman said, "Following the full implementation of the PMSO, the new regulatory regime for the PM industry will take full effect. The new regulatory regime should regulate and control the provision of PM services; promote the integrity, competence and professionalism of the profession of PM services; and maintain and enhance the status of the profession of PM services."
For any enquiries about details of the licensing regime, please visit the website of the PMSA (www.pmsa.org.hk/en/), or contact the PMSA at 3696 1111.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202307/31/P2023073100537.htm.
Residential Care Services Scheme in Guangdong expands coverage of eligible elderly persons and invites applications from eligible operators of residential care homes for the elderly
The Social Welfare Department (SWD) announced on 28 July 2023 the expansion of the Residential Care Services Scheme in Guangdong (GD Scheme) to assist elderly persons of Hong Kong to retire in cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA).
The two expansion measures include: (1) to cover elderly persons on the Central Waiting List for subsidised nursing home places; and (2) to invite applications from operators of residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs) with experience and satisfactory track records of providing subsidised residential care services in Hong Kong, which are operating RCHE(s) in GBA cities, to register their RCHEs in the GBA as Recognised Service Provider (RSP) under the GD Scheme.
The two measures took effect from 28 July 2023. The SWD has conducted an online briefing session for the RCHE sector on the operation details of the GD Scheme on the same day. Letters have also been issued to all referring offices of subsidised long-term care service for the elderly to inform them of the measures.
Eligible elderly persons who would like to apply for the GD Scheme may contact their referring offices on residential care services. Eligible RCHE operators who wish to register their RCHEs in GBA cities as RSP under the GD Scheme may download the application form (Chinese version only) from the SWD website (www.swd.gov.hk/storage/asset/section/529/application_form_gd_scheme.pdf) and send the completed form together with the required documents by post to the Residential Care Services Section of the Elderly Branch of the SWD.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202307/28/P2023072800380.htm.
OGCIO sets up "iAM Smart" registration service counter in Guangzhou
The OGCIO announced on 1 August 2023 that the first "iAM Smart" registration service counter in Guangzhou has been set up to provide Hong Kong citizens working and living on the Mainland with convenience, allowing them to register for or upgrade to "iAM Smart+" without the need to return to Hong Kong. Users can access over 280 online services from both public and private organisations easily anytime, anywhere.
Starting from 1 August 2023, Hong Kong identity card holders can visit the "iAM Smart" registration service counter located on the second floor of the Guangzhou Municipal Government Service Center, Zhujiang New Town, Guangzhou, during service hours to register for or upgrade to "iAM Smart+". The service counter operates from Monday to Friday, 9am to noon and 1pm to 5pm (except public holidays). For details and registration requirements, please visit the "iAM Smart" thematic website at www.iamsmart.gov.hk/en/reg.html.
A spokesman for the OGCIO expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Government Services and Data Management Bureau (GSDMB) of Guangdong Province for its strong support and said the OGCIO will continue to work with the GSDMB of Guangdong Province to work on the setting up of "iAM Smart" self-registration kiosks at more locations in the Mainland cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, with a view to promoting cross-boundary public services in the region.
Since its launch in late 2020, "iAM Smart", a one-stop personalised digital service platform, has more than 2.17 million registrations. Users can authenticate with a single digital identity using their personal mobile phones and access various online services. Popular online services include the Consumption Voucher Scheme, Centralised Organ Donation Register, MyGovHK portal, eTax, Contactless e-Channel, renewal of vehicle licence, eHealth and the two electricity and the gas companies.
The "iAM Smart" mobile app supports iOS and Android mobile phones enabled with biometric authentication. Members of the public can download and use the app for free from Apple App Store, Huawei AppGallery, Google Play or by visiting the "iAM Smart" thematic website at www.iamsmart.gov.hk/en/download.html.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202308/01/P2023080100200.htm.
Ministry of Finance issues Renminbi Sovereign Bonds through Central Moneymarkets Unit of Hong Kong Monetary Authority
The Ministry of Finance will issue Renminbi Sovereign Bonds through the Central Moneymarkets Unit of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). Please find the tender notice and the tender information memorandum of the Renminbi Sovereign Bonds to be issued by the Ministry of Finance at Annex 1 and Annex 2 respectively. Please also find the tender-related information provided by the Issuing and Lodging Agent through the HKMA at Annex 3.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202307/27/P2023072600633.htm.
Sponsorship for local films nominated to participate in film festivals overseas and Hong Kong films (Cantonese version) distributed in the Mainland to end in August 2023
The Hong Kong Film Development Council (FDC) announced on 4 August 2023 that two subsidy schemes under the Film Development Fund, namely Sponsorship for local films nominated to participate in film festivals overseas (Film Festival Subsidy Scheme) and Sponsorship for Hong Kong films (Cantonese version) distributed in the Mainland (Mainland Distribution Subsidy Scheme), will end on 31 August 2023, upon a review of the effectiveness of the schemes.
A two-month grace period will be allowed for applications for the Film Festival Subsidy Scheme satisfying the eligibility requirements set out in the Guidelines on Application for Sponsorship for Local Films Nominated to Participate in Film Festivals Overseas on or before 31 August 2023. Eligible applications for the Film Festival Subsidy Scheme must be submitted within two months after the completion of the film festival concerned as stipulated in the Film Festival Subsidy Guidelines.
An eight-month grace period will be allowed for applications for the Mainland Distribution Subsidy Scheme satisfying the eligibility requirements set out in the Guidelines on Application for Sponsorship for Hong Kong films (Cantonese version) distributed in the Mainland on or before 31 August 2023. Eligible applications for the Mainland Distribution Subsidy Scheme must be submitted within eight months after the first day of the theatrical release of the film in Guangdong Province as stipulated in the Mainland Distribution Subsidy Guidelines.
For details of the application guidelines and assessment criteria of the two schemes, please visit the FDC's website (www.fdc.gov.hk/en/applications_detail.php?id=2022042210270188593).
The Government is committed to promoting the development of Hong Kong's film industry. The FDC will launch new scheme(s) that can lead to bigger marketing impact with elements of proactiveness, focused mission, agility, etc, by the end of 2023.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202308/04/P2023080400352.htm.
"633" fixed toll scheme in three road harbour crossings and HKeToll at Western Harbour Crossing implemented
The "633" fixed toll scheme has been implemented in the three road harbour crossings (RHCs), i.e. Western Harbour Crossing (WHC), Cross-Harbour Tunnel (CHT) and Eastern Harbour Crossing (EHC), since 2 August 2023.
Details of the "633" fixed toll scheme are set out as follows:
(1) The fixed toll for private cars using the WHC has been lowered to $60, while that for the CHT and the EHC adjusted to $30;
(2) Cross-harbour taxis are charged an all-day fixed toll of $25 for the three road harbour crossings. Same as the previous additional fare arrangement, a taxi passenger needs to pay both the outbound and return toll (i.e. $50 in total) if they do not board from cross harbour taxi stands. There is no longer a vehicle type of "empty taxi" at the EHC; and
(3) Prevailing tolls for other vehicle types remain unchanged.
Motorists should note that the toll tickets sold by the Western Harbour Tunnel Company Limited (WHTCL) for payment of WHC tolls, as well as the commercial promotion provided by the WHTCL, including midnight toll promotion, coupons, etc, have been terminated upon the expiry of the WHC franchise.
In addition, the HKeToll has been implemented in the WHC from 5am on 6 August 2023. Motorists can drive through the toll plaza and pay tunnel tolls using the HKeToll without having to stop or queue at toll booths for payments. All manual toll booths and Autotoll lanes have been cancelled.
Following the WHC, the HKeToll will be implemented at the EHC at 5am on 27 August 2023. Details of the temporary traffic and transport arrangements and the one-off special refund arrangement for toll tickets will be announced separately.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202307/31/P2023073100512.htm.
Traffic arrangement for Guangdong-Hong Kong cross-boundary private cars using Sha Tau Kok Control Point
In respect of the agreement between Guangdong and Hong Kong, the special traffic arrangement for Guangdong-Hong Kong cross-boundary private cars with regular quota and a valid Closed Road Permit for using the Sha Tau Kok Control Point only has been enhanced during the period of redevelopment of the Sha Tau Kok Port in the Mainland starting from 25 July 2023. The relevant private cars are allowed to use the Heung Yuen Wai/Liantang Control Point to travel between Guangdong and Hong Kong, and are longer allowed to use the Shenzhen Bay Port to travel between Guangdong and Hong Kong as announced on 1 February 2020, until further notice.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202307/24/P2023072400298.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 processing time of "Easy BUD" applications has been 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.
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.