In his Budget the Financial Secretary, Paul Chan, announced a broad range of measures to diversify Hong Kong’s economy, grasp regional and global opportunities and promote innovation and technology (I&T).
Mr Chan announced that Hong Kong has a fiscal surplus of HK$138 billion, and the fiscal reserves are expected to reach HK$1,092 billion by 31 March 2018. About 40% of the surplus will be shared with the community through one-off concessionary measures, tax breaks and tax rebates and the remainder will be used for improving services and investing for the future.
On the economy, Mr Chan reported that Hong Kong had sustained notable expansion throughout 2017, with the economy growing by 3.8% for the year as a whole, up from 2.1% in 2016 and higher than both last year’s Budget forecast and the average trend growth rate of 2.9 per cent over the decade from 2007 to 2016. The GDP per capita of Hong Kong has now reached US$46,000, and is among the highest in the world. Exports turned stronger amid increased global growth momentum and domestic demand was likewise robust, thanks to favourable labour market conditions and upbeat economic sentiment. Mr Chan said he was cautiously optimistic about Hong Kong’s economic prospects in the near term, predicting GDP growth of between 3 and 4 per cent for 2018.
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