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In order to help Hong Kong enterprises seize the opportunity of the 12th Five Year Plan, the Hong Kong SAR government launched a 1 billion yuan "special fund for brand development, upgrading, transformation and marketing expansion" (hereinafter referred to as "bud special fund") in June 2012. In order to help small and medium-sized enterprises, including start-ups, grasp economic opportunities and enhance competitiveness, the 2018-19 financial budget proposed to expand the regional scope of funding of the "bud special fund" to the ASEAN market, and to launch the "ASEAN plan", and to raise the cumulative funding ceiling for individual enterprises to promote projects in the mainland (the mainland plan).
In the budget for 2019-20, it is suggested to further introduce optimization measures, expand the fund's scope of application to all economies that have signed free trade agreements with Hong Kong, and launch the "free trade agreement plan" (under which the current ASEAN plan will be included), so that enterprises can open up new markets and new business opportunities.
The further optimization measures of "bud special fund" have been implemented on April 9, 2020
All unlisted enterprises registered in Hong Kong in accordance with the Business Registration Ordinance (Cap 310) and having substantial business operations in Hong Kong are eligible to apply for financial assistance. Whether it is engaged in manufacturing or service industry, or whether it has business operation in mainland China and FTA economies, it is qualified to apply for subsidy.
Funding is provided on a reciprocal basis, i.e., the government supports up to 50% of the total approved expenditure for an individual project, and the enterprise shall bear no less than 50% of the total approved expenditure in cash. During the application period of the fund, each enterprise can receive up to 40 approved projects and a total of up to 4 million Hong Kong dollars in the mainland plan and the FTA plan.
Scope of funding
Any projects that help individual Hong Kong enterprises to develop their brands, upgrade their transformation and / or expand the mainland of China and FTA economies are eligible for grant.
Each funded project shall be completed within not more than 24 months.