Home > HK
Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 14:23

Tsang predicts GDP growth rate 1-2% in 2016


Travel and local food

John Tsang introduced three short-term measures totaling HK$140 million to enhance Hong Kong's attractiveness and competitiveness, as well as boost its tourism-related industries.

The Hong Kong government will waive license fees for 1,800 travel agents and 2,000 hotels and guesthouses for a year. Also waived for one year will be license fees for restaurants and hawkers, and fees for restricted food permits, in moves expected to benefit 27,000 restaurants and operators.

In the medium run, the SAR government will allocate HK$240 million to launch five measures, including expanding the scale of major events to be held this year, rebuilding the city’s tourism image through the Hong Kong Tourism Board and subsidizing small and medium-sized travel agents.

The SAR government will set about working on a pilot scheme on food trucks this year, with the number of designated spaces for food trucks to be increased to 16. The concept has attracted wide interest from the community.

Tsang predicts GDP growth rate 1-2% in 2016
Graphic: Hong Kong Government

Subsidies and disbursals

The Hong Kong government will also set aside HK$2.8 billion to pay out an extra month's worth of social security payments, in another one-off mitigation measure to lift the city's economy.

As for current disbursals, the SAR government will increase the basic and single-parent tax allowances from HK$120,000 to HK$132,000, and the married person's allowance from HK$240,000 to HK$264,000. This is expected to benefit 1.93 million taxpayers and reduce government revenue by HK$2.9 billion.

Meanwhile, 600,000 taxpayers are expected to benefit from an increase in allowances for providing for parents or grandparents. This will reduce the government tax revenue by HK$860 million.

Together, these proposals are expected to boost Hong Kong's gross domestic product this year by 1.1 percent.

Residential land supply

The government will sell 29 residential sites — including 14 new sites — capable of providing about 19,000 units in all. Together with railway property development projects, Urban Renewal Authority projects and private redevelopment and development projects, private residential unit supply will be 29,000 in the financial year 2016-17, Financial Secretary John Tsang estimated.

"The successive interest rate hikes in the US, the increase in the medium-term local residential flat supply and various uncertainties overshadowing the economic outlook could all add pressure for further property market correction,” Tsang cautioned. “The public should carefully assess the potential risks when making a home purchase decision.”

For public housing, the government projected a supply target of 280,000 units for the 10-year period from 2016-17 to 2025-26.

Commercial land supply

This financial year, the government will sell eight commercial/business sites and three hotel sites, capable of providing 540,000 square meters of floor area and 2,100 hotel rooms, respectively.

In the 2015-16 financial year, the government put up for sale three business sites capable of providing 68,000 square meters of floor area.

Latest News