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12 June 2024

What's New
Topical Issues
Business News

The Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs (SUCCESS) run by the Trade and Industry Department (TID) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the Government of the HKSAR) 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

"Four-in-One" Seminar Series

The four SMEs centres co-organise "Four-in-One" seminar series regularly. Themes of this seminar series in the first half of 2024 are "E-commerce", "Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)" and "Funding Schemes". Upcoming seminars and webinars under this series are listed below. Interested persons are welcome to register at the links shown therein. Admission is Free.

I. Business Expansion in ASEAN where MarTech and FinTech Converge (Seminar)

(This seminar will be held at HKPC Building on 19 June 2024)

This seminar is held by the "SME ReachOut" of the HKPC. In this seminar, experts are invited to share the prevailing online consumer spending trend and significant business opportunities of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) market, as well as new prospects created by the innovations in marketing technology (MarTech) and financial technology (FinTech) for enterprises, with a view to assisting SMEs in unlocking the growth potential of the ASEAN market and gaining insights into evolving consumer trends and regulations. The "SME ReachOut" team will also introduce various government funding schemes. The seminar also has a networking and solutions showcase session. (This seminar will be conducted in Cantonese.)

More Details and Registration

II. How to Transform ESG into an Engine of Business Growth? (Webinar)

(This seminar will be live-streamed on 21 June 2024)

This seminar is held by the "SUCCESS" of the TID. In this webinar, an expert is invited to analyse the research findings on the promotion of ESG by Hong Kong SMEs in 2024 and explain the major challenges encountered by enterprises in implementing ESG. The expert will also share how to leverage ESG as a catalyst for business growth, with a view to assisting enterprises in benefiting from the ESG trend. (This webinar will be conducted in Cantonese.)

More Details and Registration

III. Tranforming E-Commerce with Innovative Technologies (Webinar)

(This webinar will be live-streamed on 25 June 2024)

This webinar is held by the "TecOne" of the HKSTP. Three HKSTP companies are invited to speak in this webinar about the current trends in e-commerce and the latest technologies that can help SMEs grow their business. The webinar will also cover government funding schemes that SMEs can utilise for business development and digital transformation. (This webinar will be conducted in Cantonese.)

More Details and Registration

IV. Form-filling BootCamp Series For Beginners - Form-filling BootCamp on TVP (Seminar)

(This event will be held at HKPC Building on 26 June 2024)

The "SME ReachOut" of the HKPC will hold a series of three seminars to share tactics on Government funding application, and provide “step-by-step” guidance on form-filling, personalised one-on-one guidance, small group discussion sessions and "form-review" appointment service, with a view to assisting SMEs in applying for Government funding. The first seminar under this series will be held on 26 June 2024 on the Technology Voucher Programme (TVP), with related "Form-review Week" on 2-5 July. The remaining two seminars will be held on 23 July and 14 August, respectively on the Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (BUD Fund) and the SME Export Marketing Fund (EMF). (This seminar will be conducted in Cantonese.)

More Details and Registration

SUCCESS Activity

How to Spot Phishing Attacks and Protect Personal Information (Seminar)

(This seminar will be held at Trade and Industry Tower on 19 June 2024)

In this seminar, cybersecurity experts are invited to introduce common types of phishing, analyse why ordinary users and enterprises become the targets, and discuss the values of personal information from the perspective of hackers. A Police representative will also share the latest phishing cases, including attack methods and real-life situation of victims, with a view to assisting SMEs in understanding the dangers and preventive measures of phishing. (This seminar will be conducted in Cantonese.)

More Details and Registration

SUCCESS-supported Activities

I. Reposition Team Activities to Cope with Changing Work Environments (Online Course)

(This online course will be live-streamed on 18 June 2024)

This course is offered by the HKPC. SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations. This online course will share common enterprise work environment changes, team training needs, how to plan and reposition team activities and solutions to improve team performance and create greater value for the enterprises. (This course will be conducted in Cantonese.)

More Details (in Chinese only)

II. Leveraging on Xiaohongshu to Tap into Mainland Market (Seminar)

(This seminar will be held at the CMA Building on 19 June 2024)

This seminar is organised by the Hong Kong Brand Development Council. SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations. This seminar will introduce content ecosystem and user characteristics of the Xiaohongshu platform in the Mainland of China, explain content marketing and advertising strategies with case studies, and share free operating tools, with a view to assisting Hong Kong brands making good use of the Xiaohongshu to expand into the Mainland market and e-commerce opportunities. (This seminar will be conducted in Cantonese.)

More Details (in Chinese only)

III. New Climate Disclosure Requirements and Climate Risk Assessment (Seminar)

(This seminar will be held at the CMA Building on 26 June 2024)

This seminar is organised by the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong (CMA) and the Hong Kong Brand Development Council. SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations. This seminar will introduce major international sustainability standards and, with reference to the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited’s New Climate Requirements, explain the climate-related disclosure requirements under ESG framework and the importance of conducting climate risk assessments, with a view to assisting SMEs in planning and reporting ESG work as early as possible to comply with relevant requirements. (This seminar will be conducted in Cantonese.)

More Details (in Chinese only)

Intellectual Property Department: IP Training Programmes “IP102 IP Management and Protection in the Mainland” and “IP201 Generative AI - IP concept and legal considerations”

(IP102 will be live-streamed and held at the VTC Tower, Wan Chai on 10 July 2024)
(IP201 will be live-streamed and held at the VTC Tower, Wan Chai on 19 July 2024)

These two intellectual property (IP) courses offered by the Intellectual Property Department (IPD) are now open for registration.

“IP102 IP Management and Protection in the Mainland” aims to introduce the registration or application methods, protection mechanisms, management strategies and enforcement actions of different IP rights in the Mainland of China, allowing participants to fully grasp the fundamental knowledge of IP system in the Mainland. (The medium of instruction will be Cantonese, supplemented with English terms.)

“IP201 Generative AI - IP concept and legal considerations” aims to introduce the involvement of IP in the Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), enabling participants to understand IP concept and potential legal issues associated with Generative AI, thereby enhancing their ability to protect enterprises’ IP rights. (The medium of instruction will be Cantonese, supplemented with English terms.)

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 courses is waived for members of the Scheme. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the respective training course.

More Details and Registration for IP102
More Details and Registration for IP201

Employment Guidelines on Wage Reductions and Retrenchments

The Labour Department (LD) provides the leaflets and booklets on wage reductions and retrenchments for reference of employers and employees when organisations may need to implement cost cutting measures. Employers are also reminded of their obligations under the Employment Ordinance.

Guidelines on What to do if Wage Reductions and Retrenchments are Unavoidable 
Do’s and Don’ts – When Wage Reductions and Retrenchments are Unavoidable

BAS Casebook

"Meet-the-Advisors" Business Advisory Service (BAS) of SUCCESS arranges free consultation sessions for SMEs. SMEs can ask BAS Advisors in 25 advisory areas, including funding schemes, setting up business, legal matters and marketing, for general business advice on questions relating to the starting and running of a business.

To benefit more SMEs through readily available practical tips in tackling difficulties frequently encountered by SMEs in starting and running of their businesses, SUCCESS has featured and compiled a BAS Casebook (currently available in Chinese only) containing guidance of BAS Advisors provided for SME operators over the years. The BAS Casebook covers individual applicants' difficulties and questions, as well as BAS Advisors' professional advice and conclusive remarks on the lessons learned from the cases.

SUCCESS has lately published eight new cases to the BAS Casebook on the SUCCESS website, covering the areas of "Marketing and Corporate Strategy", "Company Structure, Accounts Management and Taxation" and "Intellectual Property Rights".

Hong Kong and Shanghai sign MOU to deepen talent exchanges and co-operation

Hong Kong Talent Engage (HKTE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Shanghai Municipal Talent Work Bureau in Hong Kong on 8 June 2024 to deepen talent exchanges and co-operation between the two places.

Member of the Standing Committee and Head of the Organization Department of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee, Mr Zhang Wei; the Director-General of the Department of Educational, Scientific and Technological Affairs of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Dr Wang Weiming; and the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, jointly witnessed the signing of the MOU by Deputy Director of the Shanghai Municipal Talent Work Bureau Mr Tan Puzhen and the Director of HKTE, Mr Anthony Lau. The MOU aimed to deepen talent exchanges and co-operation between Hong Kong and Shanghai by strengthening co-operation between the two places in global talent attraction, services, employment and development, with a view to jointly developing the two places into talent hubs.

Mr Sun said, "Both places reached a consensus at the Sixth Plenary Session of the Hong Kong/Shanghai Co-operation Conference held in Hong Kong in April 2024 on talent co-operation and agreed to establish a comprehensive partnership between departments of the two places as well as a regular dialogue mechanism to promote collaboration on nurturing talent and talent services. In addition, from 6 May, the Mainland authorities extended the period of stay for holders of an exit endorsement for business visit travelling to Hong Kong from seven days to 14 days and expanded the application of the exit endorsement for talent to Beijing and Shanghai. Together with the MOU signed today (8 June), such measures will further deepen talent exchanges between Hong Kong and Shanghai and promote the 'southbound and northbound' two-way flow of talent, which will facilitate talent in both places to pursue career, business and investment opportunities."

At the exchange session in the morning of 8 June, both sides updated each other on the policy initiatives of attracting and supporting talent and exchanged views on areas for strengthened co-operation as well as collaboration with enterprises in Hong Kong and Shanghai to promote talent exchanges.

For relevant press release, please visit

Department of Justice launches Chinese version of "Annotations of the Hong Kong National Security Law and Sedition Offences in the Crimes Ordinance" and "Compendium 2024"

The Department of Justice launched the English version of "Annotations of the Hong Kong National Security Law and Sedition Offences in the Crimes Ordinance" in December 2023, collating and summarising judgments concerning the Hong Kong National Security Law as well as sections 9 and 10 of the Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 200). The Chinese version of the Annotation is launched on 8 June 2024. The Chinese and English versions have been uploaded to and can be accessed by public at the new dedicated website

The Secretary for Justice, Mr Paul Lam, SC, said, "All institutions, organisations and individuals in the HKSAR have an obligation to abide by the Hong Kong National Security Law and local laws for safeguarding national security. This body of case-law helps us understand the requirements of our national security laws and how they are being applied by the courts." He expressed gratitude to Professor Albert Chen for his admirable guidance and contributions, serving as the project's Honorary Consultant Editor.

In addition, the Department of Justice and the Security Bureau, following the publication of the "Articles and Reference Materials on the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR" in 2021, have recently complied more than 10 speeches and articles regarding Hong Kong National Security Law or Safeguarding National Security Ordinance published by officials of the Central Authorities and the HKSAR, experts and scholars between 2022 and April 2024, as well as the important documents concerning the "Interpretation by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of Article 14 and Article 47 of the 'Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region' ", in "Compendium 2024", which is published on 8 June 2024 and uploaded to for public access.

For relevant press release, please visit

Government puts forward more targeted tobacco control measures to bring down tobacco hazards

The Health Bureau (HHB) announced on 6 June 2024 that in the light of findings of the Vibrant, Healthy and Tobacco-free Hong Kong public consultation on tobacco control strategies and the Thematic Household Survey (THS), the Government planned to introduce 10 tobacco control measures in short term, and continue to explore various tobacco control measures in medium and long term, including further expansion of no smoking areas (NSAs), thereby eliminating the social hazards posed by tobacco products in all aspects and safeguarding the health of the community with a multi-pronged approach.

The Secretary for Health, Professor Lo Chung-mau, said that the proportion of persons aged 15 and above with daily smoking habit has further dropped from 9.5 per cent in 2021 to 9.1 per cent in 2023 according to the THS Report No. 79 published on 6 June 2024, signifying that Hong Kong is a forerunner of tobacco control in the world. It is also an outcome of the concerted community effort from healthcare professionals and members of the public over the past years. Yet, there are about 580 000 people in Hong Kong who are still daily smokers of traditional cigarettes. The entire society and the healthcare system are forced to pay together with these smokers a heavy price for the smoking-induced diseases. Preliminary data from a local study conducted in 2021 revealed that the economic loss resulting from tobacco-induced health problems was estimated to be about HK$8.2 billion every year. The hazard brought about by tobacco to citizens remains a significant public health issue that needs to be reckoned with.

In the Vibrant, Healthy and Tobacco-free Hong Kong public consultation on tobacco control strategies conducted from July to September 2023, over 90 per cent of the citizens expressed support to the further reduction of smoking prevalence in Hong Kong, showcasing broad consensus in the community to promote a smoke-free Hong Kong. Having considered the views received through the public consultation, the effectiveness of tobacco control measures in reducing smoking prevalence and second-hand smoke, public receptiveness and the practicability of the measures, the HHB plans to put forward the overall tobacco control strategy in short, medium and long term, and to further reduce the use of tobacco products and minimise the effect of second-hand smoke on the public through multiple measures. These measures are formulated around four directions under the tobacco control strategy, namely, reducing the demand for and supply of tobacco products, minimising the attractiveness of tobacco products, protecting the public from the hazard of second-hand smoke and strengthening the provision of smoking cessation services, aiming to take forward the tobacco control process incrementally.

In order to combat illicit cigarettes in a more effective manner and protect non-smokers from tobacco hazards, the Government proposed to introduce 10 tobacco control measures in short term.

Regulate Supply, Suppress Demand

(1) To implement a duty stamp system in order to differentiate duty-paid cigarettes from duty-not-paid ones, thus enhancing the effectiveness of law enforcement. The Government is currently conducting a consultancy study to examine the implementation details. Moreover, the Government will amend the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance (DCO) (Cap. 109) to require tobacco products being sold at a price lower than the tobacco duty need to be proved duty-paid.

(2) To increase penalties for duty-not-paid cigarettes. The maximum penalty for dealing with, possession of, selling or buying illicit cigarettes will be substantially raised from the existing $1 million fine and two-year imprisonment on summary conviction to a $2 million fine and seven-year imprisonment on indictment. In addition, the Government will increase the penalties for relevant offences compoundable under the DCO (i.e. imposing penalty instead of prosecution) and listing DCO offences in the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 455) to enable the Customs and Excise Department to apply for freezing illicit proceeds associated with illicit cigarette activities.

(3) To prohibit the possession of alternative smoking products (ASPs). Subsequent to the ban on importing, promoting, manufacturing, selling or possessing ASPs for commercial purposes since 30 April 2022, the Government will go an extra mile by prohibiting the possession of ASPs in any form (including personal use) to achieve the goal of imposing a total ban on ASPs.

(4) To prohibit provision of tobacco products to persons aged below 18, such that the provider is to be held liable, thus protecting underage persons from accessing tobacco products.

(5) To continuously review the effectiveness of increasing tobacco duty and the pace of future adjustments.

Ban Promotion, Reduce Attractiveness

(6) To ban flavoured cigarettes, including menthol cigarettes and candy/fruit-flavoured cigarettes, to counteract the intention of tobacco traders to use flavoring additives to attract youngsters and women to smoke and to make smokers more vulnerable to getting into and continuing with smoking habit.

(7) To implement plain packaging by requiring tobacco packages (including brands and product names) to be uniformly designed, so as to dampen the promotional effect of tobacco products.

Expand No Smoking Areas, Mitigate Harm

(8) To prohibit smoking while queuing. At this stage, the scope of the proposal to prohibit smoking while queuing includes queuing for public transport, and queuing for entering designated public premises, such as public healthcare facilities, public pleasure grounds, theme parks, places of public entertainment, etc.

(9) To extend statutory NSAs to the designated areas at entrances and exits of designated premises, including child care centres, schools, residential care homes for the elderly and public healthcare facilities; and to enable the designation of extensive NSAs at designated locations with a view to further safeguarding the public from suffering from second-hand smoke hazards. In addition, the Government will increase the fixed penalty for doing a smoking act in statutory NSAs to $3,000.

Enhance Education, Support Cessation

(10) To strengthen smoking cessation services as well as publicity and education through measures such as increasing the number of smoking cessation service points, enhancing smoking cessation services provided by Chinese medicine practitioners, providing smoking cessation services through District Health Centers under a case-management model, enhancing smoking cessation training for primary healthcare practitioners, using mobile applications to assist smoking cessation, and incorporating more elements related to smoking hazards into the regular curriculum of schools.

The THS indicated that daily cigarette smokers aged between 40 and 59 account for nearly half of the total daily cigarette smokers. If they continue to smoke, various diseases brought about by smoking will impose a heavy burden on the healthcare system. Although the percentage of male daily cigarette smokers has dropped to 16.4 per cent, it is still much higher than the percentage of female daily cigarette smokers which is 2.7 per cent. The percentage of female daily cigarette smokers did not drop significantly over the past 20 years or so, remaining at a level of about 3 to 4 per cent. Furthermore, some 60 per cent of female smokers and some 70 per cent of young smokers aged between 20 and 29 opted for flavoured cigarettes for smoking.

Professor Lo said, "It is crystal clear that smoking continues to pose a threat to the health of many citizens and we cannot turn a blind eye to the situation. To this end, we are obliged to introduce more proactive and targeted measures to combat smoking hazard in short term."

"The 10 short-term measures were put forward after factors such as the effectiveness, practicability and public receptiveness of these measures were weighed. Not only is this package pragmatic, it includes a number of progressive and pioneering measures. We hope to cultivate a tobacco-free atmosphere and foster a culture of 'say no to tobacco hazards' in the community by adopting a multi-pronged approach through education, publicity and enforcement, so as to reduce smoking prevalence to 7.8 per cent by 2025. The HHB will continue to work with relevant departments to draft legislative proposals and study implementation details, aiming to introduce the proposed legislative amendments into the Legislative Council by the end of this year (2024)."

Upon the implementation of the short-term measures for a period of time, the HHB will review the effectiveness of the measures in reducing smoking prevalence and subsequently formulate the plan for rolling out medium-term tobacco control measures. The medium-term measures to be explored by the Government include requiring the display of tobacco products to be stored out of sight and reach by customers, strengthening measures to ensure retail outlets' compliance with various sales restrictions on the tobacco products, prohibiting "smoking while walking" which is colloquially known as "locomotives", designating extensive NSAs on a trial basis with regard to circumstances in districts for continuous expansion of NSAs, as well as imposing legal liabilities on the management of premises that condone illegal smoking.

In the long run, subject to the effectiveness of the short and medium term measures, the HHB will further explore the implementation of other further tobacco control measures, including prohibition of the sale of tobacco products to persons born after a certain date, introduction of a tobacco duty adjustment mechanism linked to the levels recommended by the World Health Organization and/or inflation, as well as restrictions on the specifications of tobacco products (e.g. nicotine content, standardised appearance of cigarettes), to pave the way towards tobacco-free Hong Kong.

For relevant press release, please visit

DH establishes Preparatory Office for Hong Kong Centre for Medical Products Regulation

The Department of Health (DH) announced on 5 June 2024 the establishment of the Preparatory Office for the Hong Kong Centre for Medical Products Regulation (CMPR) to put forward proposals and steps for the formal establishment of the CMPR, and to study the potential restructuring and strengthening of the regulatory and approval regimes for drugs and medical devices.

The Chief Executive's 2023 Policy Address (Policy Address) announced that the Government will leverage the medical strengths of the HKSAR with the long-term objective of establishing an authority that registers drugs and medical devices (medical products) under the "primary evaluation" approach, i.e. to directly approve applications for registration of medical products in Hong Kong based on clinical trial data, without relying on registration approval from other drug regulatory authorities. This will help accelerate the clinical use of new drugs and medical devices, and foster the development of industries relating to the research and development (R&D) and clinical trials of medical products, developing Hong Kong into an international health and medical innovation hub.

Hong Kong would become an internationally renowned regulatory authority and implement the "primary evaluation" approach for medical products in six major steps (see Annex). In more than six months following the announcement of the Policy Address, the HKSAR Government has implemented measures in all respects and achieved results.

Firstly, with the support and guidance of the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), Hong Kong, China has officially become an observer of the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) (Note 1) on 31 October 2023. This allows Hong Kong to familiarise itself with the latest developments in the drug regulation regime, to further align Hong Kong with the World Health Organization (WHO)-Listed Authority.

Secondly, the HKSAR Government implemented a new mechanism for the approval of new drugs (the "1+" mechanism) on 1 November 2023. Under the "1+" mechanism, holders of registration from one of the recognised drug regulatory authorities (instead of two) for drugs containing new chemical or biological entities could apply for registration in Hong Kong, on the condition that they could provide local clinical data that complies with the requirements and information recognised by local experts. Since the implementation of the "1+" mechanism, the DH has received more than 210 inquiries from about 70 pharmaceutical companies, including many pharmaceutical companies from overseas and the Mainland. Under the "1+" mechanism, two new drugs for cancer treatment have already been approved for registration, bringing new hopes of treatment to patients.

Considering the establishment of the Preparatory Office for the CMPR under the DH on 5 June 2024, the HKSAR Government has completed the first three of six major steps. The specific work of the Preparatory Office includes:

(i) comprehensively studying and planning a regulatory and approval regime for drugs and medical devices suitable for Hong Kong;

(ii) putting forward proposals and steps for the establishment of the CMPR;

(iii) conducting a review on the need for amending existing legislation to promote the development of medical products regulation; and

(iv) making recommendations to the Steering Committee on Health and Medical Innovation and Development (Note 2) as well as maintaining close communication with various stakeholders.

The HKSAR Government will continue to actively follow up on the remaining major steps, including the establishment of the CMPR and the implementation of the "primary evaluation" approach for medical products. Based on international experience, it usually takes about eight to 10 years from initial engagement with the ICH to becoming an ICH regulatory member.

In May 2024, the Commissioner of the NMPA led a delegation to visit Hong Kong and signed the Co-operation Agreement on Regulation of Drugs with the Health Bureau of the HKSAR Government. The Agreement underpinned the liaison and co-ordination arrangements among the NMPA, the DH, and the CMPR to be set up. In the same month, the Secretary for Health, Professor Lo Chung-mau, along with the Director of Health, Dr Ronald Lam Man-kin, led a Hong Kong, China delegation to attend the 77th World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland, as members of the Chinese delegation. They had then visited multinational pharmaceutical and healthcare enterprises, and a clinical trial centre. During the visit, they highlighted Hong Kong's unique advantages and the latest developments in health and medical innovation to various WHO and other government officials and organisations responsible for healthcare, as well as international scientific research and medical experts (including the Director for Regulation and Prequalification of the WHO and personnel from the Clinical Trials Center of the University Hospital Zurich). Multinational pharmaceutical and healthcare enterprises which were visited welcomed the HKSAR Government's plan to establish the CMPR and the initiatives to develop a health and medical innovation hub.

The HKSAR Government will continue to attract more pharmaceutical and medical device enterprises, both locally and from around the world, to conduct R&D and clinical trials in Hong Kong, and build the capacity, recognition and status to ensure that the eventual approval mechanism of medical products in Hong Kong would be widely recognised internationally and by the Mainland, and develop Hong Kong into an international health and medical innovation hub.

Note 1: The ICH is an international recognised association. The mission of the ICH is to harmonise the technical requirements for drug registration among its members and to promulgate various guidelines on safety, efficacy and quality that are recognised as the highest global standards for the protection of public health.

Note 2: The Steering Committee on Health and Medical Innovation and Development (SCHMID) is chaired by the Secretary for Health and comprises members from the Innovation, Technology and Industry Bureau, relevant bureaux, departments, institutions, and local medical schools. SCHMID is tasked with co-ordinating and advancing the work related to health and medical innovation, and advising the Government on the direction and policy initiatives for driving medical innovation, including measures to enhance the regulation of drugs and medical devices, and clinical trial development.

For relevant press release, please visit

Hong Kong Customs signs AEO Mutual Recognition Arrangement Action Plan with United Arab Emirates Customs

The Assistant Commissioner (Excise and Strategic Support) of Customs and Excise, Mr Rudy Hui, on 3 to 4 June 2024 visited the General Administration of Customs of the United Arab Emirates (UAE Customs), and signed the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) Action Plan with the Director of International Customs Relations of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security of the United Arab Emirates, Mr Suoud Salem AlAgroobi, in Dubai, signifying the commencement of negotiation of the AEO MRA and marking an important step towards implementing the MRA in the near future. Also, the Customs Co-operative Arrangement (CCA) was discussed by both sides during their meeting with an aim to strengthening co-operation and exploring more collaboration opportunities.

During the visit, Mr Hui also toured the Zayed International Airport to understand the customs clearance on passengers of the UAE Customs.

Currently, Hong Kong Customs has signed 31 CCAs with the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China, Macao Customs Service, and 29 overseas customs administrations. At the same time, the department has ratified AEO MRAs with 15 economies, namely Mainland China, India, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Canada, Mexico, Indonesia, Macao, China, and Bahrain, nine of which are Belt and Road economies.

Hong Kong Customs has always been committed to maintaining a close co-operation with customs administrations around the world, and is dedicated to extending the CCA and AEO MRA networks to strengthen intelligence exchanges and information sharing, enhance customs clearance efficiency and establish a more seamless and convenient international link for various enterprises.

For relevant press release, please visit

Professional Services Advancement Support Scheme invites new round of applications

The Main Programme under the Professional Services Advancement Support Scheme (PASS) is inviting a new round of applications for project proposals starting from 1 June 2024 from non-profit-distributing organisations such as professional bodies, trade and industrial organisations and research institutes.

PASS, with a total allocation of $200 million, aims at funding non-profit-making industry-led projects to increase exchanges and co-operation between Hong Kong's professional services and external counterparts, promote relevant publicity activities, and enhance the standards and external competitiveness of Hong Kong's professional services.

The maximum grant for each approved project under the Main Programme of PASS is $3 million or 90 per cent of the total eligible project cost, whichever is lower. A wide range of professional services, such as accounting, legal and dispute resolution, architecture, engineering, healthcare, information and communications technology, design and technical testing and analysis, are eligible for the Main Programme. Sector-specific projects and cross-sectoral projects are both welcome. Expenses directly incurred for implementing a project, such as manpower costs, venue and set-up costs, production and promotion costs, and the project team and active participants' travel and accommodation costs outside Hong Kong are typically eligible for funding support under the Scheme. Funding support may also be provided for travel and accommodation costs incurred by participants of relatively longer professional internships or attachment programmes outside Hong Kong which are funded by the Main Programme.

Up to early May 2024, over 100 projects had been funded under the Main Programme, including project deliverables in and outside Hong Kong. The deliverables include capacity-building programmes for enhancing the standards of local professionals, such as training programmes, workshops and study tours; outreach and promotional activities for showcasing the strengths of Hong Kong's professional services, such as roadshows, promotional seminars and participation in exhibitions outside Hong Kong; exchange activities for deepening interaction between Hong Kong professionals and their external counterparts, such as visits to other economies and international conferences and seminars held in Hong Kong; and research projects on potential external markets for Hong Kong professional services and development of best practice guidelines and manuals for professionals. Details about the Main Programme and its funded projects are available at

Furthermore, with a view to stepping up the promotion of Hong Kong's competitive edges and professional services to Mainland cities (including those in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area) and overseas markets, $50 million has been set aside for the Professionals Participation Subsidy Programme (PSP) under PASS to subsidise Hong Kong major professional bodies to participate in relevant activities organised by the Government (such as Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council after the pandemic situation has stabilised. Details of the PSP and its latest list of eligible activities are available at Hong Kong professionals from the eligible professional sectors under PASS may make use of the PSP subsidy to join the relevant activities.

The Main Programme and the PSP receive applications for project and activity proposals all year round and they are processed on a quarterly basis. The deadline for the new round of applications is 31 August 2024. A briefing session will be held in June 2024 for organisations interested in applying for PASS funding. For registration for the briefing session or other enquiries, please contact the PASS Secretariat at 3655 5418 or

For relevant press release, please visit

Revised Code of Practice for Safety and Health at Work in Confined Spaces gazetted

The LD published a revised Code of Practice for Safety and Health at Work in Confined Spaces (CoP) in the Gazette on 31 May 2024 to enhance the safety and health in confined spaces work.

The major revisions of the CoP include the enhancement of requirements for proprietors' or contractors' supervision on confined space work; highlighting the factors for assessing whether a particular job constitutes underground pipework; adding a detailed template of the risk assessment form and listing out the setting of an air-monitoring alarm; and the update on the Permit-to-work Certificate template.

A spokesperson for the LD said, "The revised CoP requires proprietors or contractors to adopt technology to record videos at the entrance and exit of the confined space throughout the entire work period to monitor relevant personnel's compliance with the safety precautions and to keep the record. Considering the time required for the industry to furnish suitable equipment and make necessary arrangements for implementing all safety precautions, there will be a six-month grace period. It will take effect on 30 November to allow the industry to have sufficient time for preparation."

The spokesperson said that the CoP provides proprietors, contractors, competent persons and certified workers with practical guidance and technical information to comply with the requirements set out in the occupational safety and health legislation regarding confined space work for safeguarding the safety and health of workers.

The spokesperson added, "This CoP has a special legal status. In criminal proceedings, if a relevant person fails to observe any provision of this Code, that failure may be taken by the court as a relevant factor in determining whether or not a person has breached the relevant safety and health legislation."

The revised CoP can be downloaded from the LD website ( Enquiries about the CoP can be made at 2559 2297.

For relevant press release, please visit

OFCA launches Labelling Scheme for Buildings with 5G Indoor Coverage to enhance 5G indoor coverage

The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) launched on 30 May 2024 the Labelling Scheme for Buildings with 5G Indoor Coverage to encourage mobile network operators (MNOs) to enhance the network coverage of fifth generation (5G) mobile services in indoor areas of buildings, providing the public with more stable and high-speed mobile communications services.

The Labelling Scheme aims to encourage collaboration between MNOs and building managers to install 5G communications facilities and enhance indoor mobile network coverage in the indoor common areas of buildings such as lobbies, lifts, carparks, shopping centres and basements. If a building has already installed 5G indoor base stations, a designated label (see Annex) can be posted at relevant locations as a certification of 5G network coverage, indicating that users can enjoy the advantages of high speed, low latency and massive capacity of 5G services in these indoor areas. At present, the four MNOs have registered over 600 buildings including residential, commercial and industrial buildings with OFCA. OFCA will regularly update the Databases for Broadcasting & Telecommunications Infrastructures to allow the public to check the list of registered buildings with indoor 5G equipment installed.

"As 5G services continue to evolve, comprehensive 5G network coverage will not only satisfy the public's demand for high-speed and reliable mobile services, but also facilitate the development of various innovative and smart city applications in Hong Kong. We encourage more buildings to participate in the Labelling Scheme and collaborate with MNOs to enhance indoor mobile network coverage and capacity through installation of 5G base stations inside buildings, which will also enhance the overall image of the participating buildings," the OFCA spokesman said.

Following the passage of the Telecommunications (Amendment) Ordinance 2024 in the Legislative Council after the third reading on 21 February 2024, which implements the proposed initiative in the 2022 Policy Address to promote 5G development, specified new and redeveloped buildings (including commercial, industrial, residential and hotel buildings) will reserve appropriate space for MNOs to install and maintain mobile communications facilities. New government buildings and public housing estates will also follow the same arrangements to install mobile communications facilities. The relevant Code of Practice will require MNOs to install 5G communications facilities in indoor common areas as far as practicable. These arrangements will facilitate further expansion of mobile network coverage and capacity in Hong Kong.

OFCA has set up a dedicated thematic webpage ( for the Labelling Scheme. Building managers interested in participating in the scheme may contact the MNOs or call OFCA's hotline (2961 6333) for enquiries.

For relevant press release, please visit

Regularisation and expansion of Pilot Scheme on Immigration Facilitation for Visitors Participating in Short-term Activities in Designated Sectors

With effect from 1 June 2024, the Government has regularised the Pilot Scheme on Immigration Facilitation for Visitors Participating in Short-term Activities in Designated Sectors and expanded the scope of the scheme to cover more authorised host organisations and an additional designated activity. Upon regularisation, the scheme has been named the Immigration Facilitation Scheme for Visitors Participating in Short-term Activities in Designated Sectors.

The pilot scheme has been welcomed by the industry since its launch and has been operating in an orderly manner. As of the end of March 2024, the pilot scheme benefited over 16 600 non-local talents from nearly 120 countries/regions, and facilitated their coming to Hong Kong to participate in various short-term events and activities, such as the International Chinese New Year Night Parade, the InnoEX, the Asian Financial Forum, the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races and more. The scheme is conducive to bringing together talent worldwide for exchanges in Hong Kong, giving full play to Hong Kong's strength as a place of "connect and excel" under "one country, two systems".

To respond more fully to the needs of various sectors, the Government decided, after a review, to regularise the pilot scheme and expand five of the original sectors, including adding 18 new authorised organisations and expanding a designated short-term activity. Other arrangements remain unchanged. Details are set out at the Annex. The scheme covers the 12 sectors of the pilot scheme:

  • Medical and healthcare;
  • Higher education;
  • Arts and culture;
  • Sports;
  • Heritage;
  • Creative industries;
  • Innovation and technology;
  • The Hong Kong Laureate Forum;
  • Aviation;
  • International/mega events;
  • Finance; and
  • Development and construction.

The Government launched the two-year pilot scheme in June 2022 to provide immigration facilitation for visitors participating in short-term activities in designated sectors, with a view to facilitating business, promoting development of relevant sectors and raising Hong Kong's international profile. Under the pilot scheme, organisations authorised by relevant government bureaux or departments can issue invitation letters to relevant non-local talents in their sectors. Invited persons may come to Hong Kong and participate in designated short-term activities as visitors without the need to apply for employment visas or entry permits from the Immigration Department (ImmD). Invited non-local talent are talent in shortage or whose participation in designated short-term activities in Hong Kong is conducive to economic development or achieving relevant policy objectives. They may participate in the designated short-term activities for up to 14 consecutive calendar days upon each arrival, and receive remuneration for the designated activities concerned. At present, the scheme covers 12 sectors with a total of some 400 authorised organisations.

For more information on the scheme, please visit the ImmD’s website (

For relevant press release, please visit

DoJ and Chongqing Municipal Justice Bureau sign legal services co-operation framework arrangement

The Secretary for Justice, Mr Paul Lam, SC, signed a framework arrangement with Deputy Director-General of the Chongqing Municipal Justice Bureau Mr Xiong Shiming on legal services co-operation between Chongqing and Hong Kong on 29 May 2024 to deepen the cities' exchanges and co-operation in legal services, enabling lawyers in the two places to better serve the economic development.

The two sides reached an agreement on many fronts regarding the deepening of legal services co-operation between Chongqing and Hong Kong, including enhancing co-operation and exchanges of legal sectors in the two places, strengthening exchanges and co-operation in the training of foreign-related legal services talent, organising mutual exchange of government legal officials to the other side or other relevant government departments, supporting and encouraging the Chongqing and Hong Kong legal sectors to provide legal services to enterprises in both places with the aim of promoting the "go global" development strategy, and supporting Chongqing and Hong Kong law firms to set up branches at the other side and to establish partnership associations.

Mr Lam said that the framework arrangement forms a solid foundation to promote future exchanges and co-operation between the two places on various issues such as legal and dispute resolution services, and to jointly contribute to the construction of rule of law of the country.

The Department of Justice and the Chongqing Municipal Justice Bureau signed a co-operation agreement in 2002. Since then, co-operation and exchanges between the legal professions of the two places have been achieving good progress. The signing of this framework arrangement will further strengthen the cities' co-operation, and is conducive to the implementation of the specific co-operation measures supporting and promoting the legal and dispute resolution service sectors of both places, which were outlined in the memorandum signed by the two governments at the High-Level Meeting cum First Plenary Session of Hong Kong/Chongqing Co-operation Conference in May 2023.

For relevant press release, please visit

Gazettal of Rating (Amendment) Bill 2024

The Government announced in the 2024-25 Budget that the progressive rating system for domestic tenements will be implemented as proposed in the 2022-23 Budget and will take effect from the fourth quarter of 2024-25 onwards to uphold the principle of "affordable users pay". To give effect to this, the Rating (Amendment) Bill 2024 was gazetted on 31 May and will be introduced into the Legislative Council on 12 June 2024 for the First Reading and the Second Reading. The Second Reading debate on the Bill will be adjourned.

Under the Bill, for domestic tenements with a rateable value (RV) of $550,000 or below, rates will continue to be charged at 5 per cent of the RV. For domestic tenements with a RV exceeding $550,000, rates will be charged at the same rate of 5 per cent for the first $550,000, 8 per cent for the next $250,000, and 12 per cent for the value exceeding $800,000 of the RV.

Non-domestic tenements, including those tenements occupied for the purpose of business activities or social services, e.g. hotel, children's home, nursery, home for the elderly, youth hostel, holiday camp, etc, will not be subject to the progressive rating system.

A Government spokesman said, "The progressive rating system endeavours to strike a balance between upholding the 'affordable users pay' principle and minimising the number of ratepayers affected. Due regard has also been given to the need to maintain a simple rating system. The proposal will only affect domestic tenements with an RV exceeding $550,000, i.e. a monthly rent of about $46,000 or above, which accounts for about 1.9 per cent of the total number of private domestic tenements in Hong Kong."

Due to their design, mode of occupation, etc, certain types of domestic tenements are currently assessed for rates as a single tenement on an "en-bloc" basis. As a result, RVs of these tenements may exceed $550,000. However, it is not the intended purpose of implementing the progressive rating system to apply the principle of "affordable users pay" to them. In this connection, the following domestic tenements will be carved out from the scope of progressive rating system:

  • public rental housing flats provided by the Hong Kong Housing Authority and the Hong Kong Housing Society, rental housing flats in Tai Hang Sai Estate provided by the Hong Kong Settlers Housing Corporation Limited as well as flats under the transitional housing or light public housing schemes, which aim at providing low-income families or target groups with affordable accommodation; and
  • dormitories provided by the Hospital Authority, the Chinese Medicine Hospital of Hong Kong, non-profit-making registered schools, post-secondary institutions and religious institutions, in which a substantial portion of the household facilities are designed for shared use.

The Rating and Valuation Department issued letters to individual ratepayers concerned in mid-April 2024, informing them of the potentially higher rates liability upon implementation of the progressive rating system. The progressive rates for applicable cases will be reflected in the quarterly demands for the fourth quarter of 2024-25, which will be issued to the ratepayers concerned in December 2024. The government revenue will increase by about $820 million each year.

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 HKPC to gradually enhance the services of “SME ReachOut” in the ensuing five years starting from 2023. HKPC has enhanced the services of “SME ReachOut” 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, focusing on areas such as ESG, technology transformation, digitalisation and cyber security, with a view to 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 Bahrain, the geographical scope of funding support of the BUD Fund has been extended to Bahrain with effect from 3 March 2024 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 391 .

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 Bahrain, the other 38 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, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

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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