Hong Kong Chief Executive delivered her policy address on 25 November 2020, announcing the government plans for the coming year. The government predicts the economy will shrink by 6.1% next year. In order to sustain Hong Kong development; the government will continue to investing in infrastructure, developing land, and meeting economic and livelihood needs. The primary purpose of this policy address, is to protect Hong Kong from the predicament and to restore the confidence of the people.
Some key points summed up:
- General education in high school: Fixing the problem of alienation of general education from the past, including educating young people regarding the correct concept of laws.
- Social welfare and medical: Expenditures on social welfare and medical services will rise to HK$93.9bn and HK$87.1bn in the coming year, with annual growth rates of 12.9% and 11.6%.
- Subsidy: The government will subsidy tech companies to recruit employees to work in the Greater Bay Area, startup industries, and large property management companies.
- “Love Upgrading Special Scheme”: Employees Retraining Boar (ERB) will launch this new scheme in next January. The number of trainees in the new phase will be doubled to 20,000, and they will receive subsidies during the training period.
- “Global (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) STEM Professorship Scheme”: The government will launch the scheme to provide opportunities for young people to devote to science and technology.
- Revitalisation of old industrial areas: Development Bureau will launch pilot plan to collect premiums early next year to speed up the revitalisation of old industrial areas.
- “Vibrant Hong Kong Island South” project: To improve the Southern District area. This project includes; formulating a plan for the Ocean Park, revitalising seafood boats in non-profit-making manner, upgrading the cultural and recreational facilities in Aberdeen and Wong Chuk Hang areas, studying the expansion of Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter and increasing the boat berthing area, and studying the restoration of Ao Quarry to develop water sports center.
- National security: Boost national security education, and propose a bill to amend the city’s oath-taking and Legislative Council ordinances to align them with Beijing’s recent ruling to disqualify lawmakers from endangering national security and breaching their oaths.
- Tech and Finance: Speed up the inclusion of pre-profit biotech companies listed in Hong Kong and stocks listed in Mainland Sci-Tech Innovation Board in the Greater Bay Area. The government will inject HK$1bn into the “CreateSmart Initiative” to promote creative industries.
- Pandemic-control: Beijing to support Hong Kong in ensuring the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, and reserve certain amount of vaccines for Hong Kong. Among current measures: tightening cross-border efforts and tests on travelers from high-risk places, mandating high-risk groups to undergo screening, providing voluntary testing on wider scale. The government may bring back universal testing to achieve the target of zero infection.
- Housing: To provide 15,000 transitional housing units within three years, and to provide subsidies to low-income families waiting for long-term public housing. The government will not give up on the costly Lantau Tomorrow Vision plan, the Chief Executive will personally head an existing internal steering group to improve policy coordination.
- New link for world’s longest crossing: When the north connection of the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link opens to traffic on December 27th, Hong Kong vehicles can go directly to Guangdong via Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.
- Illegal carriage: The government will increase the penalties for illegal carriage of passengers and other related malpractices.
- Environment and strategy: Strive to be carbon neutral by 2050.