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Catalysing Growth for Hong Kong SMEs

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As society returns to normalcy, the business landscape for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong remains in a fragile state. Recognising the ongoing challenges faced by local businesses, the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) has announced the extension of its series of special relief measures. These measures are designed not only to bolster the recovery of SMEs but also to enhance their competitiveness and enable them to capitalise on new opportunities arising from advancements in technology.

The core of the initiative lies in the HKPC’s commitment to offering substantial concessions to SMEs. From 1 January 2024 to 31 March 2025, local SMEs will benefit from a 50% concession on the list price of the labour portion for both consultancy services and testing services. It’s worth noting that this concession excludes consultancy services falling under Government funding schemes, ensuring a strategic focus on areas where SMEs need direct support.

The Executive Director of HKPC expressed the organisation’s unwavering support for the business sector. He emphasised that these relief measures are not just a short-term solution but a sustained effort to address the evolving needs of SMEs amid economic uncertainties. The extension of these measures aims to provide consistent support and guidance, acknowledging the challenges faced by SMEs in navigating the complexities of the current business environment.

HKPC’s role as a strong supporter of the business sector is underlined by its dedication to working closely with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government. The collaboration is aimed at delivering diversified consultancy and support services that specifically target industry pain points. Beyond immediate relief, the broader objective is to contribute to the long-term vision of developing Hong Kong into an international innovation and technology (I&T) centre and a smart city.

One of the critical components of this vision involves a focus on research and development (R&D). HKPC’s Executive Director highlighted the importance of continuous investment in R&D to guide the transformation and commercialisation of R&D outcomes. This strategic emphasis on R&D is positioned as a catalyst for the industrial development of I&T, aligning with global trends that emphasise innovation as a cornerstone for economic growth.

The ultimate goal, as articulated by Mr. Butt, is to allow citizens to tangibly benefit from I&T, providing them with a sense of fulfilment. This forward-looking approach underscores the belief that fostering innovation and technology can play a pivotal role in building a better future for the community at large. It’s not merely about surviving the current challenges but actively shaping a future where Hong Kong thrives as a hub of innovation and technological advancement.

OpenGov Asia earlier reported that The Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises (OASES) hosted “Meet the Partners,” in collaboration with the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC). Representatives from more than 40 strategic enterprises spanning diverse sectors, including life and health technology, artificial intelligence, data science, financial technology, and advanced manufacturing and new-energy technology were gathered.

The ITC representatives provided an extensive overview of the various funding schemes designed to support innovation and technology (I&T) enterprises. The discussions focused on programs aimed at fostering research and development (R&D), such as the Enterprise Support Scheme, Research Talent Hub, and the Research, Academic, and Industry Sectors One-plus Scheme, a recent addition launched by the government in October. Attendees also had the chance to address specific concerns with the ITC representatives.

Both these efforts create a comprehensive landscape where SMEs not only receive financial relief through concessions but also gain insights into various funding schemes and collaborative platforms, fostering an ecosystem that propels innovation, competitiveness, and economic growth in Hong Kong.


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