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7 February 2024

What's New
Topical Issues
Business News

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:
Our email:
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)

More Details

"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 Linkis also established for SMEs to access information and support services provided by the four SMEs centres and government departments from a single online platform.

"Government Funding Schemes" of the SME Link

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.

Events & Activities of the SME Link

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.


What's New

SUCCESS-supported Activities

“New Dimension of Corporate Governance: AI Challenges, Data Privacy and IP Protection” (Seminar)

(This seminar will be held at CMA Building on 28 February 2024)

This seminar is organised by the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong. SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations. This seminar will share the challenges, as well as coping strategies, that the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital operations bring to enterprises in terms of data privacy, confidentiality obligations, and intellectual property protection. (This seminar will be conducted in Cantonese.)

More Details (in Chinese only)

“Network Information Security: Protecting Data Privacy” (Seminar) 

(This seminar will be held at First Commercial Building on 8 March 2024)

This seminar is organised by the Hong Kong Retail Management Association. SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations. This seminar will explain the common cybersecurity vulnerabilities and cybersecurity measures, share incidents of cybersecurity threats, and introduce the cyber insurance market in Hong Kong. (This seminar will be conducted in Cantonese.)

More Details (in Chinese only)

Intellectual Property Department: IP Training Programme “IP 103 Registration and application procedure of IP rights in Hong Kong”

(This course will be conducted at the VTC Tower, Wan Chai on 26 February 2024)

This course introduces the IP registration system in Hong Kong, enabling participants to comprehend the registration and application procedures of various IP rights and thereby formulate effective IP registration strategies for the enterprise. 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 to get priority in course registration. Registration fee for the course is waived for members of the Scheme. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the course.

More details and Registration

Labour Advisory Board reaches consensus on review of “continuous contract” requirement

The Labour Advisory Board (LAB), at a meeting on 1 February 2024, continued the discussion on the review of the “continuous contract” requirement (commonly referred to as the “418” requirement) under the Employment Ordinance. The employer members and employee members candidly expressed their views and, after thorough and in-depth deliberations, the LAB reached a consensus that such a requirement will be relaxed by using the aggregate working hours of four weeks as a counting unit and setting the four-week working hour threshold at 68 hours. The above review is one of the labour support initiatives announced in “The Chief Executive’s 2023 Policy Address”.

Under the existing requirement, regardless of whether working full-time or part-time, employees employed by the same employer for four weeks or more and having worked for 18 hours or more per week are regarded as being engaged under a “continuous contract”. Subject to their meeting of relevant eligibility criteria under the Employment Ordinance, these employees are entitled to a range of employment benefits, such as statutory holiday pay, paid annual leave and sickness allowance.

A Government spokesman said, “The Government appreciates the efforts of all LAB members in achieving the result at today’s meeting. The amendments will contribute to enhanced protection of the rights and benefits of employees with shorter working hours. The Government will report the outcome to the Panel on Manpower of the Legislative Council (LegCo) later and commence the relevant legislative amendment work. An Amendment Bill will be introduced into the LegCo for scrutiny upon completion of drafting.”

The LAB is a tripartite consultative body comprising representatives of employees and employers to advise the Commissioner for Labour on labour matters.

For relevant press release, please visit

Enhancements to Pilot Subsidy Scheme for Third-party Logistics Service Providers implemented

The Transport and Logistics Bureau (TLB) rolled out enhancements to the Pilot Subsidy Scheme for Third-party Logistics Service Providers (Pilot Scheme) on 1 February 2024, with a view to strengthening the support to logistics enterprises to facilitate their upgrading and transformation towards smart, green and sustainable logistics development and to seize business opportunities arising from the growth of cross-border e-commerce.

The Pilot Scheme introduces three enhancement measures, including:

(a) increasing the cumulative funding ceiling for each applicant enterprise from $1 million to $2 million;

(b) extending the scope of funding to cover Environmental, Social, and Governance technology solutions and related implementation services, including consultancy services; and

(c) extending the scope of funding to cover project-based trainings associated with technology implementation.

“As outlined in the Action Plan on Modern Logistics Development promulgated in October last year, our goal is to promote high-quality development of Hong Kong’s logistics industry by realising smart development, modernisation, green and sustainability, internationalisation and facilitation, thereby developing Hong Kong into a sustainable international smart logistics hub focusing on high-value goods and the e-commerce market. After taking into account the industry’s feedback and the latest development trends of smart and green logistics, we introduce enhancements to the Pilot Scheme, as one of the 24 action measures in the Action Plan, to provide more appropriate support for the digital transformation and technological upgrading by the logistics industry towards smart logistics development, as well as promoting the development of green and sustainable logistics,” a spokesman for the TLB said.

The $300 million Pilot Scheme, providing funding support to third-party logistics service providers for technology adoption projects with a view to encouraging the logistics industry to enhance operation efficiency and productivity, has been well received by the industry since its launch in 2020. The subsidy ratio has been increased from “1:1” to “2(Government):1 (applicant)” for each application since 2023. The Management Committee, comprising representatives of the TLB and the industry, completed a comprehensive review of the Pilot Scheme in 2023 and formulated the enhancement measures. As of the end of 2023, 227 projects have been funded under the Pilot Scheme, benefitting 192 enterprises.

Details of the enhancements are available on the website of the Pilot Scheme ( For enquiries, please contact the Secretariat of the Pilot Scheme (Tel: 2788 6077; email:

For relevant press release, please visit

Government welcomes passage of Stamp Duty (Amendment) (Residential Properties) Bill 2023

The Government welcomed the passage of the Stamp Duty (Amendment) (Residential Properties) Bill 2023 by the Legislative Council on 31 January 2024, which implements the adjustments to the demand-side management measures for residential properties as announced in the 2023 Policy Address, including (a) shortening the applicable period of the Special Stamp Duty from three years to two years; (b) reducing the respective rates of the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) and the New Residential Stamp Duty (NRSD) from 15 per cent to 7.5 per cent; and (c) providing a mechanism for the suspension of payment of the BSD and the NRSD for incoming talent’ acquisition of residential properties in Hong Kong (i.e. the Suspension Mechanism).

The Secretary for Housing, Ms Winnie Ho, said, “The Government has been adopting a pragmatic approach to continuously evaluating the residential property market situation. The adjustments to the demand-side management measures under the Bill are made by the Government having regard to the overall situation, and the Government will continue to closely monitor the residential property market to ensure its healthy and steady development.”

The relevant adjustments to the demand-side management measures came into effect on 25 October 2023, in accordance with the Public Revenue Protection (Stamp Duty) (No. 2) Order 2023 published in the Gazette on the same day, i.e. the adjustments are applicable to instruments or agreements executed or made on or after 25 October 2023.

For relevant press release, please visit

Home and Youth Affairs Bureau launches Youth Start-up Internship Programme 2024

The Home and Youth Affairs Bureau (HYAB) partners with the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited (Cyberport) and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) to launch the Youth Start-up Internship Programme (YSIP) 2024 on 31 January 2024 to provide young people with internship opportunities at local start-ups.

The HYAB is committed to promoting youth development. In 2021, the HYAB co-organised with Cyberport for the first time the launching of the YSIP on a pilot basis to provide 100 internship placements at start-ups for Hong Kong young people. Following the success of the pilot programme, the HYAB, together with Cyberport and the new co-organiser HKSTP, regularised and expanded the YSIP in 2023 and provided a total of 200 internship placements at start-ups. The YSIP aims to foster young people’s interest in pursuing a career in innovation and technology (I&T), and at the same time nurture talent for the industry in support of Hong Kong’s overall direction of promoting I&T development.

For the new round of the YSIP, Cyberport and the HKSTP will provide 200 internship placements of three to six months, covering various disciplines such as data analysis, fintech, artificial intelligence, business development and marketing. The participating companies can 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). Apart from internship placements, Cyberport and the HKSTP will also arrange a series of training and entrepreneurship activities for the interns, as well as visits to start-ups in the Mainland cities of the Greater Bay Area.

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

For relevant press release, please visit

LD launches new online enrolment system for occupational safety and health training courses

The Occupational Safety and Health Training Centre (OSHTC) of the Labour Department (LD) on 31 January 2024 launched a new online enrolment system for personnel in public and private sectors to sign up for the occupational safety and health training courses organised by the OSHTC (including trainer courses, briefing sessions on relevant legislation and occupational health talks).

The training courses aim to enhance the working population’s awareness of occupational safety and health, as well as their understanding of the legal requirements and standards stipulated in occupational safety regulations. Unless otherwise specified, the courses will mainly be conducted in Cantonese at the LD's OSHTC, 13/F, KOLOUR Tsuen Wan I, 68 Chung On Street, Tsuen Wan.

Employers who wish to arrange for their employees to attend the courses can log in to the application website ( or scan the QR code to learn about the course contents and to sign up for the courses. Interested employees can also enrol on the courses through the abovementioned channels on their own. For enquiries, please call 2940 7057.

For relevant press release, please visit

FEHD expands scope of “Professional Certification System” to cover general restaurant licence applications

A spokesman for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) announced on 31 January 2024 the expansion of the scope of the “Professional Certification System” (PCS) to cover general restaurant licence applications starting from 1 February 2024. Applicants can choose between the existing system (i.e. to issue a full licence upon the completion of the final on-site check by an FEHD officer) or the PCS which adopts an approach of “licence first, inspection later” for the issue of full licences.

According to the Food Business Regulation (Cap. 132X), any person who intends to carry on a food business is required to obtain a relevant food business licence issued by the FEHD. With a view to streamlining application procedures and shortening processing times, as well as facilitating compliance with the licensing requirements, the FEHD has introduced the PCS in March 2023 as an additional option for applicants of light refreshment restaurant and food factory licences to obtain full licences. Under the PCS, the FEHD accepts a Certificate of Compliance and final layout plans provided by an authorised person or a registered structural engineer as the certification for compliance with all health requirements for the issue of a full licence. After issuing the full licence, the FEHD staff will conduct on-site audit checks to confirm premises’ compliance with all health requirements.

If any information in the relevant documents is found to be incorrect, false or misleading, or if the declaration made is found to be false after on-site audit checks, the FEHD will carry out follow-up action, such as consideration of instigating prosecution, cancellation of the licence issued or referring the case to other departments concerned for follow-up.

The PCS measure is applicable to full licence application of general restaurant, light refreshment restaurant and food factory starting from 1 February 2024. Subject to the smooth implementation and support from the trade, the FEHD will consider further extending the new measure to other food business licences.

For details of the PCS, please visit the FEHD website (

For relevant press release, please visit

Public consultation on Basic Law Article 23 legislation commenced

The Security Bureau commenced the public consultation on the Basic Law Article 23 legislation on 30 January 2024 and invites public views in this regard. The consultation period will end on 28 February 2024.

"The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has a constitutional duty, as well as a genuine practical need, to legislate for Article 23 of the Basic Law. The HKSAR has gone through the painful experience of having our national security seriously threatened, especially the intolerable Hong Kong version of the 'colour revolution' in 2019. The HKSAR Government must complete the legislative exercise as early as possible to plug the national security loopholes. Other than the need to legislate for prohibiting acts and activities endangering national security, the HKSAR is also duty-bound to fully implement its constitutional duty and obligations under the 'Decision of the National People's Congress on Establishing and Improving the Legal System and Enforcement Mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to Safeguard National Security' and the Hong Kong National Security Law, with a view to improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security in the HKSAR," a spokesman for the Security Bureau said.

It is proposed in the consultation paper that a new Safeguarding National Security Ordinance be enacted to comprehensively address the national security risks at present and those that may emerge in the future in the HKSAR. There are nine chapters in the consultation paper, covering:

(i) the constitutional duty of the HKSAR in safeguarding national security, the national security risks faced and the necessity of the legislation, as well as the relevant legislative principles, considerations and methodology for studies (Chapters 1 and 2);

(ii) recommendations concerning offences put forward (Chapters 3 to 7), which cover five major types of acts and activities endangering national security. Moreover, some new offences are proposed to effectively prevent, suppress and impose punishment for various types of acts and activities endangering national security, which include:

  1. treason and related acts (Chapter 3);
  2. insurrection, incitement to mutiny and disaffection, and acts with seditious intention (Chapter 4);
  3. theft of state secrets and espionage (Chapter 5);
  4. sabotage endangering national security and related activities (Chapter 6); and
  5. external interference and organisations engaging in activities endangering national security (Chapter 7);

(iii) proposal to provide proportionate extra-territorial effect for some of the above-mentioned offences (Chapter 8); and

(iv) other matters relating to improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security, including the shortcomings and inadequacies revealed by the experience in handling cases concerning national security, and invite public views in this regard (Chapter 9).

"Safeguarding national security is fundamentally consistent with the protection of human rights and freedoms. Enacting legislation for safeguarding national security on Article 23 of the Basic Law is ultimately for better safeguarding the fundamental rights and freedoms of HKSAR residents and other persons in the HKSAR and ensuring the property and investments in the HKSAR are protected by law. The relevant provisions of the Basic Law, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights have been fully and prudently taken into consideration by the HKSAR Government when devising the proposals in the consultation paper," the spokesman emphasised.

"National security risks exist every day. We must grasp the opportunity and enact legislation as soon as possible to cope with constantly arising national security risks and threats, after which the HKSAR can focus its efforts on creating a vibrant economy for a caring community and strive for development," the spokesman reiterated.

Members of the public may send comments by email to, fax to 2868 5074, or mail to the Security Bureau, 10/F, East Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong, on or before 28 February 2024. An electronic copy of the consultation paper and the pamphlet concerned have been uploaded to the thematic website of the Security Bureau ( Members of the public in need of printed versions may also obtain copies from district offices.

For relevant press release, please visit

SCED briefs local and foreign political and business communities on Government's work on strengthening connection with ASEAN

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Algernon Yau, on 30 January 2024 gave an update for some 120 representatives of consulates, local and foreign chambers of commerce, professional bodies and the business community on the Government’s work on strengthening connection with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the “Connecting Hong Kong and ASEAN” Luncheon co-organised by the Trade and Industry Department and Invest Hong Kong.

Speaking at the luncheon, Mr Yau said that the Government is stepping up partnership with ASEAN, the second largest trading partner of Hong Kong, through, among others, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the Investment Agreement between Hong Kong and ASEAN, which entered into full force three years ago.

He pointed out that the two Agreements have strengthened Hong Kong’s relations with ASEAN. Since the signing of the Agreements in 2017, Hong Kong’s cumulative investment in ASEAN increased by 32 per cent to US$73 billion in 2022. On merchandise trade, ASEAN accounted for almost 14 per cent of Hong Kong’s total trade with the world in 2022.

“Earlier this month, I signed the First Protocol to Amend the FTA between ASEAN and Hong Kong to update the Product Specific Rules (PSRs) of origin, which enhanced the coverage of the PSRs from some 200 to almost 600 categories of products. Hong Kong traders will be able to gain originating status for products more easily and effectively to enjoy preferential tariff treatment, which in turn would surely further enhance the burgeoning trade relations between Hong Kong and ASEAN,” Mr Yau added.

Apart from promoting trade and investment, the Government also spares no effort in enhancing people-to-people exchange and experience sharing through the Economic and Technical Cooperation (ECOTECH) Work Programme under the FTA.

With a contribution of HK$25 million, the ECOTECH Work Programme encourages activities aiming to exchange information, share best practices and build capacity for regional growth. Twenty-eight projects proposed by ASEAN member states and Hong Kong have been approved so far, covering a wide array of areas including professional services, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) co-operation, trade facilitation, intellectual property and e-commerce co-operation. Thirteen of them have been completed, benefitting more than 4 000 participants.

Mr Yau highlighted Hong Kong’s commitment to taking co-operation with ASEAN to the next new level, and called on stakeholders’ continued support for Hong Kong’s early accession to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest and one of the most open and inclusive free trade agreements.

“All RCEP members, including ASEAN, are already Hong Kong’s important trading partners, accounting for 71 per cent of Hong Kong’s total merchandise trade in 2022 and 46 per cent of our total trade in services in 2021. This is why Hong Kong is well-placed to join and add distinct value to RCEP, through contributing our advantages as a logistics, trading and financial hub towards further optimisation of the regional supply chain,” he said.

The ASEAN Secretary-General, Dr Kao Kim Hourn, expressed his welcome to Hong Kong’s accession to RCEP in his opening remarks delivered by the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community, Mr Satvinder Singh, at the luncheon through a video. Noting Hong Kong’s unique and significant role in supporting ASEAN’s development and prosperity, he said he looked forward to more implementation of practical co-operation in areas of mutual interest in the years to come to further elevate economic and people-to-people relations between ASEAN and Hong Kong.

Also speaking at the luncheon, the Director-General of Trade and Industry, Ms Maggie Wong, expressed appreciation to the professionals and experts in supporting the ECOTECH projects and fostering a closer relationship between Hong Kong and ASEAN.

She also introduced the Government’s measures in ensuring that Hong Kong’s SMEs are equipped and ready to connect with ASEAN and even RCEP economies. Among others, HK$657 million has been granted under the Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales to assist Hong Kong enterprises in exploring and developing their businesses in the ASEAN market.

For relevant press release, please visit

New Industrialisation Funding Scheme funds project to set up digital printing smart production line

The New Industrialisation Funding Scheme (NIFS) under the Innovation and Technology Commission on 30 January 2024 approved around $7.8 million for a project by People Printing Press Limited to set up a new smart production line for digital printing.

The Commissioner for Innovation and Technology, Mr Ivan Lee, said, “With competition becoming globalised, customers demanding for faster delivery, and printing orders trending towards larger product range and lower order quantities, smart manufacturing can help Hong Kong's printing industry handle different types of orders more flexibly and swiftly and enhance printing quality to stay competitive.”

Mr Lee also said, “To strengthen our efforts in supporting enterprises to adopt smart manufacturing in Hong Kong and seize market opportunities, the NIFS launched a relaxation measure in January this year to allow enterprises to carry out up to three projects concurrently with a total maximum funding of $45 million. We hope to support the setting up of more smart production lines in Hong Kong to help bolster the ‘Made in Hong Kong’ brand.”

The total cost of the approved project is about $23.4 million and the manufacturer will bear the cost of about $15.6 million. Apart from advanced human-machine interface (HMI) and automation, the project will also adopt other advanced technologies such as smart sensors, the Internet of Things (IoT), real-time data, remote monitoring and application of data analytics.

Under the NIFS, the Government will provide funding on a 1 (Government): 2 (company) matching basis to subsidise manufacturers to establish smart production lines in Hong Kong. The funding ceiling is one-third of the total project cost or $15 million, whichever is the lower.

The NIFS is open for applications throughout the year. Details are available on the website of the Innovation and Technology Fund ( For enquiries, please contact the NIFS Secretariat (Tel: 3655 5678; email:

For relevant press release, please visit

Aviation Promotion Project Funding Scheme accepts applications

The TLB announced on 29 January 2024 the launch of the Aviation Promotion Project Funding Scheme under the Maritime and Aviation Training Fund (MATF), which is now open for applications.

"The aviation industry is an important pillar of Hong Kong's economy. The Government and the Airport Authority Hong Kong are forging ahead with the construction of the Three-Runway System project and the development of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) into an Airport City, which will enhance the capacity and functionality of HKIA significantly and brighten the prospects of the future development of Hong Kong's aviation industry. The Government endeavours to enable more people to appreciate the vast opportunities in the aviation industry through the Scheme, thereby attracting new blood to join the industry and promoting the industry's sustainable development," a spokesman for the Transport and Logistics Bureau said.

The Scheme aims to fund local aviation-related organisations and academic institutions for organising activities to promote the aviation industry, raise public awareness and interest, and attract talent to join the industry. Activities mainly for business promotion or individual corporate recruitment will not be considered.

Eligible organisations must submit their applications at least three months before the commencement of the activities concerned. In general, the MATF Secretariat will submit the applications to the Tripartite Taskforce on Manpower Training (Aviation) for approval within two months from the receipt of the application forms and all necessary documents. Applications from locally registered non-profit organisations may receive a maximum of 100 per cent of the permissible expenditure, subject to a ceiling of $250,000; while applications from other eligible organisations may receive a maximum of 50 per cent of the permissible expenditure, subject to a ceiling of $125,000.

The Scheme accepts applications all year round. For details of the Scheme, please refer to the dedicated website. Interested organisations may contact the MATF Secretariat by one of the following means:

Telephone: 3509 7261

For relevant press release, please visit

Extending effective period of relaxation of waiver application for existing industrial buildings to 31 January 2025

The Development Bureau (DEVB) announced on 26 January 2024 the extension of the effective period of the relaxation of waiver application requirement for existing industrial buildings (IBs) to 31 January 2025.

With a view to revitalising and optimising the use of existing IBs, on 1 February 2019, the DEVB relaxed the waiver application requirement for an initial period of five years, to permit the following five specific non-industrial uses to operate in individual units of existing IBs without the need for the owner to make a temporary waiver application to the Lands Department (LandsD) and pay any fee, provided that such uses are permitted under the land use zoning of the sites concerned on the relevant Outline Zoning Plans as "Column 1" (i.e. always permitted) uses:

  • Art Studio;
  • Office (Audio-visual Recording Studio);
  • Office (Design and Media Production);
  • Office (used by "specified creative industries" only (i.e. design and media production firms, printing and publishing industries, film companies, and film-related trade organisations)); and
  • Research, Design and Development Centre.

With public safety as a prime concern, the permitted uses above are covered on the premise that they do not involve uses/activities that attract visiting members of the general public by providing direct services or goods, such as conducting hobby classes, exhibitions and sales activities, or providing rehearsal facilities for any party other than the operator, owner and tenant(s) of the premises.

A spokesperson for the DEVB said, "The waiver relaxation arrangement facilitates the provision of needed floor space within existing IBs in a pragmatic manner to meet persistent demand from various industries without compromising public safety, and the market feedback has been generally positive."

The extension of the effective period to 31 January 2025, will continue to enable many existing IB units (especially those under multiple ownership hence not ready for redevelopment or wholesale conversion in the near future) to be used for both industrial and certain non-industrial uses in a controlled and pragmatic manner. The Government will review the need for further extension in due course.

The terms and conditions of the relaxation of waiver application for existing IBs will remain unchanged. For details about the arrangement, please visit the DEVB website ( or the LandsD website ( For enquiries about the application to individual IBs, please contact relevant District Lands Offices of the LandsD.

For relevant press release, please visit

Land Survey (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 2024 gazetted

The Government published the Land Survey (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 2024 (the Amendment Regulation) in the Gazette on 26 January 2024 to revise the fees for land survey services provided by the Government in accordance with the established review mechanism.

The fee items to be revised include:

  1. inspection of land boundary records;
  2. supply of copies of plans;
  3. deposit of land boundary plans and corresponding survey record plans with the Land Survey Authority;
  4. registration as an authorised land surveyor; and
  5. renewal of registration as an authorised land surveyor.

"The main users of the above-mentioned services are land surveying professionals or authorised land surveyors. Since the last fee revision in 2018, the Government has reviewed the relevant fees in accordance with the established mechanism and 'user pays' principle, and revised them to levels adequate to recover the full costs of providing the services (with fee increases ranging from 4.7 per cent to 17.4 per cent, or from $9 to $370). It is estimated that the fee revision would have little impact on the relevant persons. The adjustment would also help restore the relevant fees to the 100 per cent cost recovery rate achieved in the past," a spokesman for the DEVB said.

The Amendment Regulation was tabled at the LegCo on 31 January 2024. The revised fees will come into effect on 31 March 2024.

For relevant press release, please visit

Strengthening sales control of codeine-containing medicines effective on 26 January 2024

With a view to strengthening the sales control of codeine-containing medicines, the Government published the Pharmacy and Poisons (Amendment) Regulation 2024 in the Gazette on 26 January 2024 to regulate all medicines containing less than 0.2 per cent of codeine as Part 1 Schedule 1 poisons under the Pharmacy and Poisons Regulations (the Regulations). The relevant requirements came into effect on the same day as publication in the Gazette.

A spokesman for the Department of Health (DH) on 25 January 2024 said that the Government has always been concerned about the abuse of codeine-containing medicines (including cough preparations) in Hong Kong. Before strengthening sales control of codeine-containing medicines, medicines containing 0.2 per cent or above codeine are Part 1 Schedule 1 Schedule 3 poisons under the Regulations (i.e. prescription drugs) that can only be purchased from Authorized Sellers of Poisons (commonly known as pharmacies) under the supervision of the registered pharmacist upon a doctor's prescription. Medicines containing more than 0.1 per cent codeine (but less than 0.2 per cent) are Part 1 Schedule 1 poisons under the Regulations which should be sold by pharmacies and under the supervision of the registered pharmacist, and the pharmacies should register the personal information of the purchaser (including the name, identity card number, address and signature) etc, in the Poisons Book before the completion of sale. Medicines containing not more than 0.1 per cent codeine are Part 1 poisons under the Regulations which should be sold by pharmacies and under the supervision of a registered pharmacist.

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong (the Board) reviews the regulatory control of codeine-containing medicines from time to time and has earlier decided to strengthen the sales control of codeine-containing medicines. According to the Board's decision, medicines containing not more than 0.1 per cent of codeine should also be regulated as a Part 1 Schedule 1 poison under the Regulations to strengthen control. Under the strengthened sales control, the pharmacies have to comply with additional requirements, i.e., register the personal information of the purchaser (including the name, identity card number, address and signature) etc, in the Poisons Book before the completion of sale, while other current control remains unchanged.

Members of the public may continue to legally buy the medicines concerned at pharmacies. With regard to the abovementioned sales control in the retail sectors, the DH has issued letters to notify the relevant stakeholders (including pharmacies) and has requested all pharmacies to display the notice on sales control of the medicines provided by the DH inside their premises.

According to the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance, illegal sale of Part 1 poisons or prescription drugs is a criminal offence and the maximum penalty for each offence is a fine of HKD100,000 and two years' imprisonment. Furthermore, any pharmacy who fails to comply with the requirement to make an entry in the Poisons Book before completion of sale of Part 1 Schedule 1 poison under the Regulations shall be liable on conviction to a maximum fine of HKD5,000.

The spokesman emphasised that the DH will enhance its enforcement action against the illegal sale of codeine-containing medicines and failing to keep proper record of poisons. The spokesman also reminded members of the public to take note of the restriction of the retail sales of the medicines concerned.

For more information about the strengthening of the sales control of codeine-containing medicines, the public may visit the webpage of the DH's Drug Office. The public could also use the Drug Database of the Drug Office for further details of registered pharmaceutical products.

For relevant press release, please visit

Updates to "Resource Handbook for Bazaar Application"

The Government announced updates on the "Resource Handbook for Bazaar Application" on 25 January 2025.

The Environment and Ecology Bureau (EEB) and relevant bureaux/departments (including the HYAB, the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau, the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, the Home Affairs Department, the Housing Department (HD), the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the FEHD, the Transport Department, the Fire Services Department, etc) have jointly updated the "Resource Handbook for Bazaar Application" to enable organisations/persons interested in organising bazaars to have an easier grasp of the relevant application procedures and processes involved. The Handbook covers -

  1. how to look for suitable venues, as well as the procedures for application for hiring a government venue (including venues under the management of the HD/Housing Authority, the LCSD and the LandsD);
  2. a template of bazaar proposal to enable organisations to comprehensively plan for the proposed activities early on;
  3. relevant licences and/or approval required for organising various common bazaar activities and the relevant application methods; and
  4. points to note in the operation stage of the bazaar.

The Handbook has been uploaded to the EEB website ( and the FEHD website (, and will also be available on the websites of other relevant departments in due course.

For relevant press release, please visit

HKMA and PBoC announced measures to deepen financial co-operation between Hong Kong and Mainland

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced on 24 January 2024 six policy measures to deepen the financial co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland, including:

  1. Expanding the list of eligible collateral for the HKMA's RMB Liquidity Facility to include RMB bonds issued onshore by the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China and the policy banks of the People’s Republic of China;
  2. Further opening up the onshore repurchase agreement (repo) market to all foreign institutional investors (including Bond Connect investors) that already have access to the China Interbank Bond Market;
  3. Releasing the amendments to the Implementation Arrangements for the Cross-boundary Wealth Management Connect Pilot Scheme in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA);
  4. Implementing facilitative measures on the remittances for property purchase by Hong Kong and Macao residents in the Mainland cities in the GBA;
  5. Promoting the collaboration on cross-boundary credit referencing to facilitate corporates’ cross-boundary financing activities;
  6. Expanding the cross-boundary e-CNY pilots in Hong Kong

The Chief Executive of the HKMA, Mr Eddie Yue, said, "We are pleased to see the announcement of the six measures. They will promote further opening up of the Mainland’s financial market, strengthen Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre and offshore RMB business hub, and foster closer connections within the GBA. The announcement is the result of the concerted effort of the HKMA, the PBoC and other relevant financial regulatory authorities in the Mainland and Hong Kong. We will continue to work closely with them and the industry to ensure timely and smooth implementation of these measures, and explore further enhancements."

For relevant press release, please visit

Hong Kong and Croatia entered into tax pact

The Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui, on behalf of the HKSAR Government, signed in Hong Kong on 24 January 2024 a comprehensive avoidance of double taxation agreement (CDTA) with Croatia, signifying the Government's sustained efforts in expanding Hong Kong's CDTA network, in particular with tax jurisdictions participating in the Belt and Road Initiative. Representing the Government of Croatia was the Minister of Finance of Croatia, Mr Marko Primorac.

This CDTA is the 48th agreement that Hong Kong has concluded. It sets out the allocation of taxing rights between the two jurisdictions and will help investors better assess their potential tax liabilities from cross-border economic activities. Including Croatia, Hong Kong has signed CDTAs with 17 member states of the European Union.

Mr Hui said, "Croatia is one of the economies participating in the Belt and Road Initiative. I have every confidence that this CDTA will further promote economic and trade connections between Hong Kong and Croatia, and offer additional incentives for the business sectors of both sides to do business or make investments. Hong Kong will continue to negotiate with trading and investment partners with a view to expanding its CDTA network. This could enhance the attractiveness of Hong Kong as a business and investment hub, and consolidate the city's status as an international economic and trade centre."

Under the Hong Kong-Croatia CDTA, Hong Kong companies can enjoy double taxation relief in that any tax paid in Croatia, whether directly or by deduction, in accordance with the CDTA, will be allowed as a credit against the tax payable in Hong Kong in respect of the same income, subject to the provisions of the tax laws of Hong Kong.

Moreover, the Hong Kong-Croatia CDTA also provides the following tax relief arrangements:

  1. Croatia's withholding tax rates for Hong Kong residents on dividends, interest and royalties will be capped at 5 per cent; and
  2. Profits from international shipping transport earned by Hong Kong residents arising in Croatia will not be taxed in Croatia.

This CDTA will come into force after the completion of ratification procedures by both jurisdictions. In the case of Hong Kong, it will be implemented by way of an order to be made by the Chief Executive in Council under the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112). The order is subject to negative vetting by the LegCo.

Details of the Hong Kong-Croatia CDTA can be found on the Inland Revenue Department's website (

For relevant press release, please visit

OGCIO invites Leading Organisers for Hong Kong ICT Awards 2024 and 2025

The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) announced on 24 January 2024 that proposals are now invited from non-profit organisations or industry associations to take part as Leading Organisers for the 2024 and 2025 Hong Kong ICT Awards (HKICTA).

Organised by the OGCIO, the HKICTA aims to recognise and promote outstanding information and communications technology (ICT) inventions and applications, thereby encouraging Hong Kong's ICT elites and enterprises to strive for innovation and excellence. Through concerted efforts of the ICT sector, academia and the Government, the HKICTA has always been highly regarded by the information technology industry. Since its debut in 2006, this annual signature event has already presented more than 2 000 awards to recognise outstanding local ICT products and solutions. In addition, HKICTA winners have the opportunity to be nominated for regional and international competitions, with many of them scooped remarkable prizes, including 19 awards in the Asia Pacific Information and Communications Technology Alliance Awards 2023, attaining two awards in the World Information Technology and Services Alliance 2023 Global ICT Excellence Awards, and capturing an award in Maker in China SME Innovation and Entrepreneurship Global Contest 2022. They have showcased the outstanding achievements of Hong Kong's ICT industry.

The HKICTA consists of eight award categories, namely:

  • Digital Entertainment Award
  • FinTech Award
  • ICT Startup Award
  • Smart Business Award
  • Smart Living Award
  • Smart Mobility Award
  • Smart People Award
  • Student Innovation Award

In a bid to foster the innovative use of artificial intelligence (AI), each of the eight categories will establish a new distinguished accolade: the "Best Use of AI" award, magnifying and honouring outstanding achievements in harnessing the power of AI in respective areas.

The OGCIO welcomes applications from all non-profit organisations and industry associations to become Leading Organisers for the coming two rounds of the HKICTA. Leading Organisers are responsible for recruiting and screening entries, promoting the HKICTA through their networks, planning and managing the adjudication process, and holding individual presentation ceremonies for their categories. The selection of Leading Organisers will be conducted through an open and fair process based on established assessment mechanisms and criteria taking into account the effectiveness of the proposals as well as the capability and past performance of the proponents.

The deadline for submission is 27 February. Organisations interested in being a Leading Organiser can obtain a set of the application documents (including a Request for Proposal and a Proposal Form) from the website of the OGCIO ( Further details are available on the website of the HKICTA (

For relevant press release, please visit

Public consultation on proposal for information sharing among Authorized Institutions to aid in prevention or detection of crime

The HKMA issued on 23 January 2024 a public consultation paper seeking views on its proposal to allow Authorized Institutions (AIs) to share information on customer accounts for the purposes of preventing and detecting financial crime.

Recent years have seen a sharp global increase in financial crime, especially digital fraud, including in Hong Kong. In addition to the harm caused to victims, large-scale digital fraud could undermine public confidence in the use of new digital financial services. Information sharing is internationally recognised as an effective tool in addressing financial crime. While Hong Kong has achieved positive outcomes through public-private information sharing partnerships, criminals' exploitation of the financial system to move illicit funds continues to pose a threat. There is a need for faster sharing of information to further support the advanced use of technology and analytics to detect and disrupt fraud and mule account networks and intercept illicit funds more effectively.

Against this backdrop, the HKMA invites views from the banking sector and members of the public on its proposal to facilitate AI-to-AI information sharing, including legislative amendments to provide legal protection to AIs and safeguards to protect data privacy and customer confidentiality. The proposed arrangement is in line with similar developments in other international financial centres.

The Chief Executive of the HKMA, Mr Eddie Yue, said, "Fraud and financial crime risks have surged globally. Criminals increasingly exploit information gaps between banks and abuse the financial systems to move and hide illicit funds. Effective information sharing will help the banking sector, supervisors and law enforcement agencies turn the tables on fraud and financial crime and help protect consumers of financial services."

The public consultation commenced on 23 January and will last until 29 March 2024. The consultation paper is available on the HKMA website ( Interested parties are invited to submit their comments to the HKMA by email (recommended means) or post on or before the deadline.

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

“SME ReachOut”, a dedicated service team operated by HKPC, has commenced operation since 1 January 2020 to enhance SMEs’ understanding of the Government’s funding schemes, with a view to encouraging better utilisation of the support provided by the Government. The team would help SMEs identify funding schemes that suit their needs, and answer questions relating to applications.

The Government has allocated $100 million to enhance the services of “SME ReachOut” for five years starting from 2023. The enhanced services have rolled out in October 2023, including arranging visits to more chambers of commerce, commercial and industrial buildings and co-working spaces, and increasing the publicity in social media so as to step up the promotion of government funding schemes. At the same time, more one-on-one consultation sessions will be provided to assist SMEs in applying for government funding and building their capacities, and enhancing their competitiveness through leveraging new technologies.

For further information or enquiries on “SME ReachOut”, 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)

Following the signing of the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between Hong Kong and Türkiye, the geographical scope of funding support of the BUD Fund has been extended to Türkiye with effect from 31 October 2023 to further support Hong Kong enterprises in developing their businesses in the market.  The total number of economies covered under the BUD Fund is thereby increased to 381 .

The 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 ( or contact the HKPC at 2788 6088.

1Besides the newly added economy of Türkiye, the other 37 economies covered under the BUD Fund are the Mainland, New Zealand, the four member states of the European Free Trade Association (i.e. Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), Chile, Macao, the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (comprising Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), Georgia, Australia, Austria, Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

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 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":

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

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