Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels
The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region
Hong Kong’s Green Deal – Carbon neutrality by 2050 - Chief Executive's Annual Policy Address (25 November 2020)

The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Mrs Carrie Lam, delivered her annual Policy Address on 25 November 2020.  The HKSAR will strive to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050.  There are other measures to facilitate business to access the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) through Hong Kong.


Details

Cleaner, Greener and Liveable Hong Kong

The Chief Executive set out the HKSAR Government's strategies and proposals to achieve carbon neutrality, promote green transport and energy efficiency and to enhance the quality of life in districts across Hong Kong.  Key initiatives include –
  • Strive to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050 and update Hong Kong's Climate Action Plan in mid-2021 to formulate more aggressive strategies and measures
  • Invite tenders to develop a modern pulping facility in EcoPark, Tuen Mun, in the first half of 2021 to handle recycling of waste paper
  • Conduct a comprehensive traffic and transport strategy study and the 'Strategic Studies on Railway and Major Roads beyond 2030'; to complement land development planning and housing supply, and to support sustainable development 
  • The MTR Corporation Limited has embarked on the detailed planning and design of the Tung Chung Line Extension and Tuen Mun South Extension, and will commence the relevant work on the Northern Link and submit the project proposal on the South Island Line (West) to the HKSAR Government

GBA
 
With the GBA seen as offering multiple opportunities for the development of various sectors, the Chief Executive said that during meetings with leaders from Guangdong Province and Shenzhen municipality in early November 2020, they had agreed to press ahead with work in areas such as cross-boundary infrastructure development and clearance facilitation, joint development of an international innovation and technology (I&T) hub, co-operation in modern service industries, education, nurturing of talents and youth exchanges as well as joint development of a quality living circle.  Specific co-operation projects include –
  • Support Hong Kong's insurance industry in establishing after-sales service centres in the Mainland cities of the GBA under the framework of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement;
  • Implement as soon as possible the arrangement of using Hong Kong-registered drugs and medical devices used in Hong Kong public hospitals at The University of Hong Kong - Shenzhen Hospital on a trial basis subject to the approval of the Guangdong Province, and extend the policy to cover more designated healthcare institutions, drugs and medical devices in a timely manner;
  • Allow traditional proprietary Chinese medicine products for external use registered in Hong Kong to be registered and sold in the GBA through a streamlined approval process;
  • Press ahead with the 'Quota-free scheme for Hong Kong private cars travelling to Guangdong via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge'; after the commissioning of the Tuen Mun - Chek Lap Kok Tunnel;
  • Rationalise the Hong Kong-Shenzhen land boundary control points by adjusting the functions and extending the operating hours of some of these land boundary control points so as to progressively implement the 'East in East out, West in West out'; planning strategy for cross-boundary goods traffic;
  • Support and assist various universities in Hong Kong in their plans to provide education services in the GBA;
  • Provide support to the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme and the Funding Scheme for Youth Entrepreneurship in the Greater Bay Area launched by the HKSAR Government;
  • Establish the Pan-Greater Bay Area Inward Investment Liaison Group to enable Invest Hong Kong and its counterparts in other cities in the GBA to develop holistic and joint inward investment propositions with a view to enhancing synergy; and
  • Jointly promote the development of the equine industry in the GBA through collaboration with the Hong Kong Jockey Club and its racecourse in Conghua, Guangzhou.
One Country, Two Systems

The Chief Executive vowed to ensure the robustness of 'One Country, Two Systems';. 

She also emphasized the Chief Executive's duty to uphold judicial independence which is protected under the Basic Law.
 

New Impetus to the Economy

In her 2020 Policy Address, the Chief Executive revealed wide-ranging strategies to make full use of the city's advantages under the 'One Country, Two Systems'; principle, reboot Hong Kong's economy, create new opportunities in the GBA and further promote I&T.  Key initiatives include –

International Financial Centre
  • Include pre-profit biotechnology companies listed in Hong Kong and stocks listed on the Mainland Sci-Tech Innovation Board meeting certain prescribed criteria into the stock universe of the mutual market access programmes 
  • Expedite the implementation of the GBA cross-boundary wealth management connect scheme 
  • Promote real estate investment trusts (REIT) in Hong Kong, including considering a relaxing the investment restrictions of REIT as appropriate, broadening the investor base, as well as providing tax concession for carried interest issued by private equity funds
  • Launch the Fintech Proof-of-Concept Subsidy Scheme to encourage traditional financial institutions to partner with start-ups to conduct Proof-of-Concept projects
  • Conduct public consultation on the establishment of a licensing regime to monitor virtual asset service providers
International Aviation Hub
  • Hong Kong-Zhuhai Airport Co-operation - the Airport Authority of Hong Kong (AAHK) will invest in Zhuhai Airport on the basis of market principles to reinforce its advantage in aviation
  • To consolidate and enhance the development of the airport city, AAHK will develop innovative facilities on the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) Island of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, including automated car parks, the Intermodal Transfer Terminal, the Airport City Link connecting the airport, the SKYCITY and the HKBCF Island via the autonomous transportation system and extend it to Tung Chung Town Centre later
  • Commence preparation work for cross-boundary commercial helicopter services
International I&T Hub
  • Jointly develop the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Co-operation Zone with Shenzhen, and explore with Shenzhen government the idea of allowing the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation to lease and manage certain areas of the Innovation and Technology Zone in Futian, Shenzhen, before the completion of the first batch of buildings in the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park at the Lok Ma Chau Loop
  • Launch a five-year Global STEM Professorship Scheme at a cost of HK$2 billion (EUR 0.22 billion) to attract outstanding R&D talent from overseas to engage in R&D work in Hong Kong
  • Release the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong 2.0 in December 2020 with more than 130 smart city initiatives
  • Launch the iAM Smart one-stop service platform in December 2020 for delivery of a number of government and public utility electronic services
Supporting Business and Commerce Development and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)
  • Expand the scope of subsidy under the SME Export Marketing Fund for two years so that enterprises affected by the epidemic can fully utilize both online and offline sale channels
  • Set aside HK$50 million (EUR 5.43 million) under the Professional Services Advancement Support Scheme to subsidise major professional bodies to set up publicity and promotion in the GBA and overseas
  • The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) will launch a one-stop 'GoGBA'; platform in collaboration with the Guangdong Province and related chambers of commerce to provide policy advisory, training and matching services, thereby enabling Hong Kong enterprises to explore opportunities in the Mainland's domestic market and gain access to the large-scale e-commerce platforms in the Mainland
Creative Industries
  • Make an additional injection of HK$1 billion (EUR 0.11 billion) into the CreateSmart Initiative
  • Set up an inter-bureau task force to promote and develop Art Tech, set aside HK$100 million (EUR 10.85 million) and provide state-of-the-art venues and complementary facilities for experimental use
Investing in Infrastructure and Reinventing Construction
  • The HKSAR Government will continue to invest in infrastructure with an estimated annual expenditure of over HK$100 billion (EUR 10.85 billion) on average in the next few years
  • Propose to the Legislative Council to raise the expenditure ceiling of each minor works project funded under the block vote from the current HK$30 million (EUR 3.26 million) to HK$50 million (EUR 5.43 million) to expedite the implementation of projects that are closely related to the daily lives of the people 
Convention and Exhibition Industry
  • Take forward the redevelopment of the three government towers in Wan Chai North and the Kong Wan Fire Station into convention and exhibition facilities, hotel and offices, and press ahead with the development of the phase two of AsiaWorld-Expo
  • Make use of the HK$1 billion (EUR 0.11 billion) Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme to subsidise exhibitions organised by the HKTDC and participants of its major conventions
Tourism Industry
  • Roll out additional relief measures involving a funding of HK$600 million (EUR 65.13 million) for the tourism industry, which has been hardest hit by the epidemic
  • Tap into more local cultural and green tourism resources once the epidemic has eased, with a view to expanding both the Mainland and overseas visitor source markets, as well as offering leisure and travel experience with rich historical and cultural elements
Housing and Land

The Chief Executive set out in her 2020 Policy Address an innovative, multi-pronged approach to tackle the challenges, ranging from development of transitional housing to the launch of an 'unprecedented'; cash allowance scheme.  The Chief Executive also said that 330 hectares of land has been identified, which could provide 316,000 public housing units to meet the demand for about 301,000 public housing units in the coming 10 years.
 
Key initiatives include –
  • Increase land supply in medium to long term – provide over 100,000 public and private housing units in the coming 10 to 15 years, mainly from housing sites of about 90 hectares along the Northern Link, topside development on Siu Ho Wan MTR Depot, and the redevelopment of three urban squatter areas and Tai Hang Sai Estate
  • Long-term planning for sustainable land supply – mainly rely on reclamation of artificial islands at Kau Yi Chau, near-shore reclamation at Lung Kwu Tan and the re-planning of Tuen Mun West, involving about 1,440 hectares of land in total
  • Expedite the supply of public and private housing – 
- set up the Development Projects Facilitation Office to expedite the processing of development approval of larger-scale private residential sites 
- expand the remit of the Steering Group on Streamlining Development Control to cover departments not under the Development Bureau 
- the Chief Executive will personally steer on housing and land supply 
  • Transitional Housing – make use of the dedicated funding of HK$8.3 billion (EUR 0.9 billion) to facilitate the provision of 15,000 transitional housing units by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the three years from 2020-21 to 2022-23.  Suitable sites have already been identified for providing 13,200 units.  Moreover, a pilot scheme will be launched to subsidise NGOs to rent hotels and guesthouses for use as transitional housing
Full text of the 2020 Policy Address 

2020 Policy Address - Highlights leaflets