On 23 February the Financial Secretary of the HKSAR, Mr. Paul Chan, published his 2022-2023 Budget. As is customary, the FS kindly provide deeper insights to the Hong Kong Business Community during the webinar on 23 March. This year’s budget webinar was even more interesting than usual as everyone was curious about the current state of the financials and what the HK Government planned to do to kick-start the economy, support business & fund innovation in the year to come.
The webinar started with a brief presentation of Mr. Chan and HKGCC Chairman Peter Wong. Then the Chairman of HKCEA, Miao Jianmin, briefly introduced the budget. He mentioned the ’22-’23 budget will focus on overcoming the difficulties and responding to the fifth wave of the pandemic. Moreover, it outlines medium- and long-term measures. He also mentioned the pandemic situation remained serious, but they are confident that with the effective implementation of the measures, Hong Kong will recover. Finally, Mr. Jianmin welcomed the FS.
Mr. Paul Chan started by giving a background, saying last year was good, while the start of this year had been more difficult with the pandemic situation. As the first quarter doesn’t look good, Hong Kong will face negative growth for a while. But he remains positive that the HKgov will be able to overcome the situation. This year’s budget will continue to adopt an expansionary fiscal policy with initiatives mainly focusing on four areas:
- Supporting an all-out effort to win the fight against the epidemic;
- Relieving the hardship of Hong Kong people & SME’s;
- Rendering support to the struggling economy & fostering the post-epidemic economic revival;
- Investing in the future by planning ahead for the medium- and long-term development of Hong Kong’s economy.
He concluded his presentation by mentioning a likely result of the ’22/’23 financial year running a deficit of about 60 billion HK dollars, which is affordable, but the Government needs to remain vigilant.
After a fifteen-minute presentation about the budget, Allen Shi invited the audience for a Q&A session. Attendees were able to submit their questions online and Mr. Paul Chan answered most of them.
Finally, Amelie Dionne-Charest (Canadian chamber) was invited to deliver a thought of thanks on behalf of the Hong Kong business community. She thanked the opportunity to have a direct exchange and Q&A with the FS.