US$511m to bolster HK economy
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government pledged HK$4 billion (US$511 million) on Wednesday in new relief measures to help bolster an economy battered by months of unrest and violent incidents that have eroded business confidence.
At a press briefing, Financial Secretary Paul Chan elaborated on a series of aids, including reduction of water and sewage services charges, subsidies on power use and payment of various kinds of tax in installments.
The move came in the latest effort of the HKSAR government to help businesses and residents fend off impacts of an economic downturn.
The latest boost brings the government’s total pledged amount of relief to HK$25 billion.
“During an economic downturn, supporting employment is the number one priority of the government,” Chan said.
Chan described the measures as mainly aimed at helping small and medium-sized businesses to safeguard jobs.
The senior official warned that more residents will be affected if the violence continues and urged concerted efforts from all sectors of the community to stop violence and restore order so that residents can live a peaceful life again and businesses can operate normally.
Hong Kong recorded its largest-ever retail collapse in October, with sales dropping 24.3 percent to HK$30.1 billion, the government said on Monday.