Association of Corporate Trainers and Consultants (ACTC) is an international professional body dedicated to quality, professionalism and ethics in the area of corporate training and consultation. We are established to tackle the ever-lasting and growing demand for quality and professional training and consultancy for corporate in both business and public sectors .
The Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, in his Budget today (February 26) proposed a series of initiatives to strengthen Hong Kong’s competitiveness as an international hub and premier gateway to markets in Mainland China.
”Competitiveness is the theme of this Budget,” Mr Tsang said.
”I believe that the proposed measures will enhance our competitiveness, help keep Hong Kong’s economy growing, improve our business environment, increase employment opportunities and maintain the health of public finances.”
Mr Tsang proposed several initiatives to develop the financial services industry. He said Hong Kong had become one of the largest markets in the Asia Pacific region for exchange traded funds (ETFs) since 2010, when the Government extended the stamp duty concession to cover ETFs that track indices comprising not more than 40 per cent of Hong Kong stocks.
”I propose to waive the stamp duty for the trading of all ETFs, so that the trading cost of ETFs with a higher percentage of Hong Kong stocks in their portfolios can be reduced as well,” the Financial Secretary said.
”This will help promote the development, management and trading of ETFs in Hong Kong.”
He also proposed launching a new issue of inflation-linked retail bonds (iBond) of up to $10 billion with a maturity of three years.
Mr Tsang announced seven measures to strengthen support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in terms of financing, market expansion, brand building and productivity enhancement. The measures include:
* extending the application period for the special concessionary measures under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme for one year to the end of February 2015;
* continuing the implementation of the Small Business Policy scheme by the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation to allow SMEs engaging in export trade more flexibility in taking out insurance cover;
* earmarking $50 million to support retailers on a matching fund basis for the use of IT and other technology solutions to increase productivity;
* promoting cloud computing applications among SMEs and providing training to help them adopt appropriate and affordable IT solutions;
* continuing with the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited’s Microfinance Scheme, which has so far approved 106 applications with a total loan amount of over $28 million;
* continuing to make use of the dedicated fund and extend the network of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council Design Gallery to assist Hong Kong enterprises in developing brands, in upgrading and restructuring, as well as in exploring market opportunities in the Mainland; and
* continuing to identify suitable workspace for individuals and enterprises engaging in creative industries and help promote their work.
To enhance Hong Kong’s capacity and appeal as a tourist destination, Mr Tsang said the Government planned to develop the Kai Tak Fantasy area of the Kai Tak Development into a spectacular world-class tourism, entertainment and leisure hub.
”We are identifying feasible ways for the gradual release of six sites facing Victoria Harbour within the ‘hotel belt’ adjacent to the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal to the market starting from the end of next year,” he said.
In addition, new hotel projects at the Murray Building site in Admiralty, Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland would provide over 1,500 rooms, the Financial Secretary said.
Mr Tsang earmarked a total of $95 million for the Hong Kong Tourism Board, including $45 million to promote conventions and exhibitions and $50 million to inject new elements into popular established events.
”One way to do so is to introduce 3D projection mapping technology to help showcase the magnificent night view of Victoria Harbour during mega events,” Mr Tsang said.
To promote innovation and technology, Mr Tsang said the Government will introduce two new measures to enhance the application and commercialisation of research and development (R&D) results, including:
* setting up an Enterprise Support Programme to replace the Small Entrepreneur Research Assistance Programme and raise the funding support ceiling for R&D activities of private sector companies from $6 million to $10 million for each project. While the recipient company must bear at least half of the cost, it may retain all the intellectual property rights of the project; and
* extending the scope of funding to development work and system integration, industrial design, compliance testing and clinical trials.
”The ITF (Innovation and Technology Fund) will provide an annual funding of up to $24 million to the six designated universities to provide seed money for R&D projects that they recommend, encouraging their students and teachers to start downstream R&D businesses and commercialise their R&D results,” Mr Tsang said.
The Financial Secretary proposed extending the exemption of electric vehicles from First Registration Tax by three years up to March 31, 2017, to encourage greater use of electric vehicles in Hong Kong as part of efforts to improve the environment.
”Our competitive edge cannot be taken for granted, nor is it self-sustaining,” Mr Tsang said.
”It is essential that we seize every opportunity to improve, and aptly respond to possible crises along the way.”
Ends/Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Issued at HKT 12:56
Chinese Version Only
Mr. Lai Chi-wai is an outstanding sportsman and rock climbing instructor in Hong Kong. Over the years, he had won numerous rock climbing awards in local as well as international competitions. While he was considered an undefeatable icon in the sports world, he met his biggest challenge in life when he was 28-years-old. He was paralyzed permanently due to a serious car accident. As a result he had to left his glamorous sports career for a painful and long medical treatment. After which, he has to be wheel car-bound for the rest of his life. He was frustrated, but not for long. With his sportsman spirit and strong will, he was able to stand up to the crisis and turned himself into a rock climbing instructor, thanks to his strong arms and years of professional training. His story has inspired many people. As today, besides his training career, he is also a motivational speaker to inspire other unfortunate persons and school students with his life journey.
Dr. King Cheng, Chairman of ACT C and Director of Y E R C, has the honour of inviting Mr. Lai to share his life experience and views on various topics with young executives.
Cheng：Mr. Lai, you have a very unusual life journey, how do you see today’s young people when they face challenges in life?
Lai: From my rock climbing training experience, I can see today’s young people are in lack of experience in dealing with challenges. They would give up easily. As I see it, in most cases, as long as you are willing to pay the price, success is not impossible.
Cheng： Nowadays, many people say that opportunities for the young people are dwindling. Do you agree?
Lai: In my view, young people still have good opportunities in Hong Kong as long as they are positive and willing to get prepared. You do not just sit and wait for opportunities, you could also take the initiative to search for them. It is useless to complain about life being unfair to you.
Cheng：You were determined to become a sportsman when you were very young. Can you tell our young people how to prepare for their career in latter days while they are still young?
Lai: I was lucky to have the opportunity to turn my interest into my career. My advice to the young people is that they should have the courage to try things out. No matter whether it is successful of not, you would earn valuable experience through the process. Experience in life is precious asset.
Cheng: You had received a severe blow in life due to a serious traffic accident, how would you advise the young people should they encounter set back in their career development?
Lai: They must remember that a failure is only a process. As long as you could live through failure, success may not be far away. Always forward looking and be positive.
Cheng: Between reality and their dreams, how could young people keep the right balance?
Lai: It is unavoidable that there is always conflict between the two. However, things could be worked out as long as you know what you are living for.
An event organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to address the society’s needs in finding possible ways to develop entrepreneurship. It is an integrated platform for information exchange and experience sharing in starting new businesses. For details, please visit:
Mr. Conrad Lee is a veteran businessman in sports supplies industry. Besides his business venture, Mr. Lee is a very dedicated person in social and community services. He has been sitting on the committees / executive boards of a number of business, community and government organizations in Hong Kong and mainland China during the past decades. Since 2012, Mr. Lee has been Chairman of Kowloon Chamber of Commerce, one of the major prestigious chambers of commerce in Hong Kong. A remark of honour, the Association of Corporate Trainers and Consultants (ACTC) is a permanent corporate member of this Chamber.
Dr. King Cheng, Chairman of ACTC and Director of Y E R C, has the honour of inviting Mr. Lee to share his views and precious experience in the business world and community services with young executives.
Cheng：Mr. Lee, as a veteran businessman, what were the hindrance and problems to the development of your business when you were young? How did you deal with them?
Lee: It was a hard time in early days of my business venture. My company was run by three colleagues, including myself. It was once a small company, principally engaging in the wholesale of sports supplies in Hong Kong. At that time, we did not have our own brand and we sold very limited varieties of products, even worse, with very tight cash flow. Fortunately, our company grew by expanding sales outside Hong Kong. In early 1980s, we launched our own brand “NIKKO” and sold our branded travel and camping supplies like backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, hiking suits and shoes, etc..
Cheng: Was it a smooth ride since then?
Lee: Expanded overseas markets and brand creation imply increased product demand. Hence, we needed to build our own factory to sustain our growth and maintain competitiveness. . In early 1990s, we had our own factory in Huizhou City, Guangdong Province, the PRC. In the meantime, we looked for reputable companies and brands from abroad, building long-term relationship with reliable OEMs. In early 2000s, given the hefty growth of our business, we expanded our production by having another more sizable plant in Zhuhai City near Hong Kong. The new plant consists of 8 building blocks housing 800+ workers for production, administration and staff dormitory purposes..
Cheng： Some people say today’s young people have a very fragile mind and are unable to face difficulties. Do you agree?
Lee: I personally think the younger generation today does not know how to handle problems and figure out solutions. They tend to be passive and try to get away from difficulties. In my opinion, young people should be positive in attitude and be willing to take up responsibilities. It is common for all of us to come across hard times throughout our life journey. It would only be right to face difficulties with a positive and optimistic attitude.
Cheng： There is a general view that opportunities for young people are dwindling. What do you think?
Lee: The world is always changing, particularly the rapid changes in science and technology as well as the global flow of information with any border. Innovations and inventions, in fact, create ample opportunities for young people. Pay more attention to the global trends enables them to grasp better opportunities.
Cheng：Can you tell our young people how to prepare for their career in latter days while they are still young?
Lee: They should work hard to strengthen their knowledge and experience. It is also important to have the right values towards life, a healthy body and a good social network consisting of quality guys.
Cheng：In your view, how could the young people pursue for their dreams in life?
Lee: I would like to take this opportunity to wish them well and would like to remind them that life is a one-way journey with no return. So, young people should always look forward and treasure their lives. Being kind, having the right values, willing to help, participating in community services and well-treating parents, all are the essences leading to a beautiful and wonderful life.