Hong Kong reveals post-protest boost for business
Budget contains fund for firms affected by last year's pro-democracy demonstrations

The Hong Kong government Wednesday earmarked a multi-million dollar fund for small businesses to boost tourism and investor confidence in the wake of last year’s pro-democracy street protests, local media reported.

The budget announcement included 290 million Hong Kong dollars ($37.4 million) for measures such the waving of license fees for travel agents, hotels, restaurants and street vendors for six months.

As part of the allocation, the government will also waive vehicle examination fees for taxis and buses, the South China Morning Post.

During the 79-day protests between September and December last year many businesses, particularly taxi and bus companies, complained of a loss of revenue as protesters blocked major roads in three areas of the city.

Financial Secretary John Tsang told the Legislative Council on Wednesday that "prolonged political bickering" was harmful to the city’s image and "may even dampen investors’ confidence," the Post reported.

The government’s Information Services Department was also allocated 26 million HK dollar to promote the territory around the world.

Overall, the government's surplus for the financial year will be 63.8 billion HK dollars, with Tsang forecasting a surplus of 36.8 billion HK dollars in the coming year, public broadcaster RTHK reported.

This would raise reserves to more than 856 billion HK dollars, equivalent to 23 months of government expenditure.

The budget comes as Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying contends with calls for his resignation amid lingering political tensions since last year’s protests.

Last Modified: 2015-02-25 10:20:22
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