FS delivers 2018-19 Budget

The initiatives put forward in this Budget are underpinned by three main objectives.


Diversified economy: We have to diversify our economy to create wealth for Hong Kong and provide wider and better development opportunities for our young people. 


Investing for the future: The outbreak of winter influenza has reminded us once again of the pressing need to improve healthcare services; an ageing population poses challenges which need to be overcome by deploying resources and making early preparation; and we also need to improve our living environment to make Hong Kong an ideal smart city to work and live in. 


Caring and sharing: Children and young people should be given more care, protection and opportunities; middle-class families need relief from financial burdens, while the grassroots and underprivileged require more support.


A fulfilling life calls for not only materialistic improvements, but also better quality of life and spiritual enrichment.


In reality, no abundance of resources would ever enable the Government to satisfy the needs of all. It is my responsibility to take care of various sectors of the community. While addressing the pressing needs, I must also be proactive, innovative and bold in investing for the future of Hong Kong.


Financial Secretary Paul Chan made these remarks while delivering the 2018-19 Budget on February 28.

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Enriching HK’s arts culture

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is committed to creating an environment conducive to arts and cultural development. As an important strategic investment in this respect, the West Kowloon Cultural District project now taking shape on the other side of Victoria Harbour will be developed into an integrated arts and cultural district with world-class facilities befitting Hong Kong’s status as an international arts and cultural metropolis. Various major facilities will be gradually commissioned. In particular, the Xiqu Centre will open by the end of this year; Freespace, scheduled to open in 2019, has been topped out; and the M+ building will also open by late 2019. Furthermore, the Lyric Theatre Complex will be completed around 2021, while the Hong Kong Palace Museum is scheduled for completion in 2022.


Alongside the upgrade in architectural hardware, we will continue to strengthen our cultural software. To enrich people’s cultural life, build audiences, nurture local talent and promote professional development, we organise a variety of quality arts and cultural programmes and activities. The Hong Kong Arts Month will return in March this year, in tandem with other major art fairs including Art Basel, Art Central and Asia Contemporary Art Show.


And today, the highlight of the action is right here on this side of the harbour. The unveiling of the Harbour Arts Sculpture Park will see the Central and Wan Chai harbourfront transformed into a gallery featuring large-scale, museum-quality works of 18 emerging and established local and international artists. The Sculpture Park offers a unique opportunity for the general public to appreciate world-class sculptures against the backdrop of Hong Kong’s iconic skyline and energetic harbour. For Hong Kong people and overseas visitors alike, it will certainly be an impressive experience to rest, stroll, walk, jog along – and stop – to admire the masterpieces in this vibrant urban setting.


As part of our education and outreach efforts, the Sculpture Park features a mobile application with detailed information on each sculpture and a multilingual audio guide in Cantonese, English and Mandarin. Coupled with a spectrum of guided tours, workshops, symposiums and artist residency, the project pools together people from all walks of life to experience how art can be part of our everyday lives.


The Sculpture Park is the fruition of collaboration among government departments, the creative industry and the arts and cultural community. It would not have been possible without the staunch support from all parties. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the remarkable lineup of curators, partners and sponsors for bringing out the best in creativity.


Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung gave these remarks at the launch ceremony of Harbour Arts Sculpture Park 2018 on February 22.

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CE wishes prosperity, stability for HK

The Lunar New Year is the most important festival for Chinese people. Though busy as we all are, I always make time to do shopping and decorate my home for the new year to get myself in the festive spirit.


This year is the Year of the Dog. Faithful and gentle, dogs have always been our best friends. More than that, police dogs are police officers’ wonderful workmates and provide loyal service to the force. They help the Police maintain law and order, making Hong Kong a safe place to live and work.


I am honoured to extend my New Year greetings to you for the first time in my capacity as the Chief Executive. I wish Hong Kong prosperity, stability, progress and success in the year ahead.


This is a translation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s Lunar New Year message delivered on February 15.

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Investing in HK talent

Thanks to the power of technology and the global economy, we live in an increasingly interconnected and inter-dependent world. Our young graduates must be equipped with the necessary skills, the essential confidence and connections, if they are to find their place – and maintain Hong Kong’s standing – in the global economy.  In this, the Li Po Chun United World College is certainly exceeding expectations. Through such initiatives as the Education Outside the Classroom programme, overseas trips, China Week, cultural evenings, the college has been making remarkable efforts to deepen students’ understanding of international connectedness and enhance their whole-person development.


Beyond breaking boundaries, the college also continues to build bridges. We are all well aware by now of the Belt & Road Initiative, which is now supported by more than 100 economies and international organisations. All of them are keen to build bridges – the literal, as well as the metaphorical. I am pleased to note that the college is determined to be part of that multilateral future and to create its own connections to the nations, the cultures and the peoples of the Belt & Road. In fact, over the past 25 years, more than 560 students from Belt & Road countries have been admitted to the college. And now the college is moving to expand its Belt & Road links. I understand that plans are in place to set up a Belt & Road Resource Centre at the college, which will welcome secondary school students from all over Hong Kong, helping them better understand the economies, the cultures and the opportunities that the Belt & Road can offer.


In addition, some of the college’s service projects will take place in Belt & Road countries, and the college is working to establish a scholarship programme to welcome more students from these countries. That is what I call planning for the future.


My Government is also busy building bridges for the Belt & Road and for our young people in general. The Education Bureau will enhance the content of Mainland exchange programmes to enable more teachers and students to understand the opportunities brought by the Belt & Road Initiative and other national development strategies and to widen their horizon through visiting the relevant provinces and cities in the Mainland. In the 2016-17 school year, about 60,000 students benefited from the exchange. This school year, we have expanded the quota to more than 100,000 places to give every primary and secondary student the invaluable opportunity to participate in at least one Mainland programme.


More generally, we are eager to help our youth realise their potential, whatever their goals may be. And I believe we can do that best through innovative, future-focused education. It is the reason why, shortly after taking office, my Government increased the recurrent expenditure on education by $3.6 billion a year. The additional resources cover the entire spectrum, from kindergartens and primary and secondary schools, to integrated and special education, as well as post-secondary education.


STEM Education

At our public sector primary and secondary schools, we have raised the teacher-to-class ratio, providing more than 2,000 additional regular teaching posts. We are also offering an extra recurrent cash grant of $25,000 a month to boost innovation and technology staffing support for e-learning and other I&T-related educational initiatives. We are, as well, bolstering our STEM education. We have updated the curriculum of the STEM Education Key Learning Area to nurture the creativity, collaboration and problem-solving abilities of our youth, thereby promoting an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. We have also launched STEM training programmes for the heads and middle managers of our public primary and secondary schools. Additional training and teaching support are available at the STEM Education Centre, up and running since last October.


At the post-secondary level, we are creating policies and programmes designed to boost our I&T talent. A recent McKinsey Global Institute study, “Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation,” notes that “between 400 million and 800 million individuals could be displaced by automation and need to find new jobs by 2030, around the world”. So we must ensure that today’s students have the knowledge, expertise and innovative smarts they need to build their future. With that in mind, some $10 billion has been earmarked for university research programme. And with an injection of $3 billion into the Research Endowment Fund, the Education Bureau is providing scholarships for local students admitted to Hong Kong-funded research postgraduate programmes. And I can tell you, there is a great deal more funding on the way for I&T education and research in our policy agenda.


In-depth reviews

Money, of course, is only a means to realising our vision for education. With our healthy fiscal reserves, my Government is prepared to invest for our future, and there is no investment more meaningful than education. We are therefore prepared to consider any proposal to improve the quality of education, even if it means that we have to go beyond the $5 billion additional funding that I pledged last year. In my Policy Address delivered last October, I have identified eight areas of education which the Government needs to carry out in-depth reviews, including professional development of teachers, curriculum arrangement, assessment system, vocational and professional education and training, self-financing post-secondary education, school-base management, parent education and University Grants Committee’s funding on research and student hostels. I am glad to report that the Education Bureau has set up task forces with the participation of educational experts and related professionals to carry out the reviews, and studies have been commissioned step by step.


Chief Executive Carrie Lam gave these remarks at the opening of the “Breaking Boundaries, Building Bridges – The Role of Education” forum held by the Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong on February 10.

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Smart city vision promising

My Government’s smart city vision is as clear and compelling as the benefits it promises. We have embraced the smart city and the innovation and technology (I&T) that will power it to ensure that our economy remains strong and diverse deep into this 21st century. No less important, we see the smart city as a critical means to providing the people of Hong Kong with a high quality of life.


That said, we have no time to waste – not if we want to turn Hong Kong into one of the world’s smart cities. Which is why in my October Policy Address I announced that we would advance the timetable for the publication of the Smart City Blueprint and invest initially $700 million to push ahead with key infrastructure projects for smart city development. This is also why I personally chair the Steering Committee on Innovation & Technology, with membership comprising the Chief Secretary for Administration, the Financial Secretary and 10 bureau secretaries to oversee the implementation of the initiatives. I am glad to tell you that we are making some progress, with the Smart City Blueprint published in December last year.


Smart city strategy outlined

The blueprint is only a start. Delivering the smart city is a multifaceted task and we will need to work particularly smart in a number of strategic areas if we are to realise its full benefits. They include opening up data for free use by startups and the public.


As you know, open data can only promote social innovation. Opening health-related data, for example, will help us better monitor infectious disease trends, promote research and development (R&D), and drive innovation in health-related products and applications. In this respect, I am happy to note that the Hospital Authority is developing big data analytics to encourage the sharing of anonymous patient data. Within government, we have recently revamped data.gov.hk to provide geospatial data, which in turn will promote the development of innovative applications and solutions. More geo-tagged data sets will be made available for public use. Looking ahead, we will expand the opening up of free government data, focusing on transport, health, education and sensor data. In these areas we trail our competitors.


Of course, much data are controlled by the private sector. Our public transport operators, for example, are private companies. And they are generally reluctant to share, at no cost, data generated from their operations. That includes the real-time location of their fleet and passenger volume. We will continue our efforts to convince them of the benefits that everyone gains in a system where the data is freely available. I am sure the Smart City Consortium will help us to give this a real push. Using the data of other operators can only help enhance the business models of all operators.


Tech infrastructure a prerequisite

Building essential technology infrastructure is another critically important strategic area. In this regard, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority is developing a Faster Payment System. It will allow residents to use their mobile phones for payment – anytime, anywhere. We are also gearing up for the 2020 commercial launch of 5G mobile services and applications. We will as well provide a universal eID – a single digital identity and authentication allowing the people of Hong Kong to access government and commercial online services.


Within government, we are building a new big-data analytics system to support cloud services. It will also enhance efficiency and cyber security through resource sharing and artificial intelligence.


Next year, we expect that the first smart lampposts will take to the streets of Hong Kong. They will collect a wide variety of city data, from weather and air quality to traffic. And that can only help us enhance the good management of Hong Kong. The Highways Department and the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer will roll out a pilot scheme in four districts. These smart lampposts will offer Wi-Fi, 5G networks and district information for road users. Still on infrastructure, the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation & Technology Park may well be our most anticipated I&T infrastructure project. Occupying a site of 87 hectares and a gross floor area of 1.2 million square metres, it will be the largest I&T development in Hong Kong upon completion. I can tell you we are working at full speed to implement it. The statutory planning procedure has been completed just last week and the infrastructural work will start immediately once funding has been approved by the Legislative Council.


Hong Kong is also home to high-tier data centres. Last June, Amazon Web Services announced it would establish a data centre hub in Hong Kong while Google will open a Google Cloud Platform in Hong Kong later this year. These, and other developments, underline the confidence global I&T leaders have in the future of Hong Kong as a data hub and smart city.


Talent is essential to that future. Simply put, we need all the smart, tech-savvy people we can get if we are to create a smart city for the world. At last count, we had about 50,000 students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies. That number has to grow. To that end, we will provide scholarships worth $3 billion to encourage local students to take part in research postgraduate programmes. And we will continue to promote STEM education at the primary and secondary school levels, as well as the community at large.


We are also looking for talent beyond Hong Kong. We will soon launch a pilot fast-track scheme to admit technology talents from overseas and the Mainland of China. In the coming months we will launch a $500 million Technology Talent Scheme, which will include a Postdoctoral Hub. The hub initiative provides funding support for companies looking to recruit postdoctoral talent for scientific research and product development. In addition, we will continue to invite acclaimed universities, R&D institutes and technology enterprises to set up here to collaborate with local partners and to develop research projects with social benefits for Hong Kong.


Then there’s a question of legislation. In my Policy Address I pledged to review existing legislation and regulations and to remove any outdated provisions that may impede our I&T development. The Policy Innovation & Co-ordination Unit will soon be set up, again subject to the approval of the Legislative Council, working directly under me to spearhead that effort.


Beyond government policies and plans, I’m pleased to note that venture capitalists are already sold on Hong Kong. In the first nine months of 2017 venture capital in Hong Kong reached US$770 million. That is nine times more than was invested in Hong Kong in 2012. As for startups, there were just over 1,000 in Hong Kong in 2014. Last year that number more than doubled to over 2,200. At last count, at least two of our made-in-Hong Kong startups have hit that starriest of capital heights: unicorn status.


HK on right path

In short, we’re on our way. It’s an evolving journey and support from the private sector is essential. When I said support, that doesn’t mean that you should tell us what we are doing well. I want you to tell us what we are not doing well enough so that we could improve and respond to the industry’s needs. As I said, the Smart City Blueprint is just the beginning. It’s a living document driving a multifaceted policy agenda. We will continue to update and upgrade them for the benefit of the people of Hong Kong.


Chief Executive Carrie Lam gave these remarks at the Smart City Blueprint Luncheon on February 7.

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Gov’t committed to innotech

Hong Kong has long enjoyed success on a global scale, rising and reinventing itself continuously over the years and decades – from a manufacturer and exporter to an economy built on financial services and capital and the world-class professional services that help power it.


In order to sustain our competitiveness in the 21st century, we need a new engine for our economy, in the form of innovation and technology (I&T). Taking into consideration Hong Kong’s strengths and capabilities, we will be focusing on four areas – artificial intelligence and big data analytics, biomedicine, smart city, and fintech.


We are also working relentlessly with industry stakeholders to further enhance Hong Kong’s ecosystem for startups. After all, this is a city shot through with entrepreneurial spirit and the resilience it demands. Today, a new generation of disruptors is taking advantage of Hong Kong’s favourable economic and cultural environment to create, innovate and enable tomorrow’s economy.


In recent years, our startup scene has also taken off – not surprising, of course. According to San Francisco-based research firm Compass, Hong Kong is among the world’s five fastest-growing startup centres and one of the world’s top 25 start-up hubs.


Results of InvestHK’s latest Startup Profiling Survey show a 16% increase in startups this past year, to 2,300, and a 21% gain in startup jobs, to more than 6,300.


The survey also shows a growing number of overseas founders. They chose Hong Kong because of our unique advantages afforded by the “one country, two systems” arrangement, our prime location, our low and simple tax system, our rule of law, our world class financial and professional services, and of course, much more. These young, talented entrepreneurs also bring with them international experience and perspective. And that can only make our startup community truly reflective of the dynamism and multiculturalism of Hong Kong – Asia’s world city.


Committed to innovation

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is committed to the development of innovation and technology. We have allocated more than US$3.6 billion into different programmes and initiatives since 2015, to further enhance our technology infrastructure, to encourage SMEs to make wider use of technology, to promote mid-stream research and development, to further improve our ecosystem for startups through venture capital funding and incubation programmes, and, last but not least, to nurture and attract talent of the right calibre to support innovation and technology development.


One key initiative to support startups is the Innovation & Technology Venture Fund. Some US$256 million has been set aside to invest in local I&T startups, working with select private-venture capital funds in an investment ratio of 1:2.


Our Public Sector Trial Scheme provides support of up to US$130,000 a project to startups for research and development trials in the public sector. The programme has been extended to cover companies in the Hong Kong Science Park and Cyberport, (the) Hong Kong Government’s key partners in the development of I&T.


The Internship Programme has also been expanded to include incubatees and SMEs at (the) Science Park and Cyberport. Each company can recruit up to two local university graduates as interns for up to two years.


Recently, Cyberport set up an Investor Network to attract venture capitalists, angel investors and private equity funds from around the world. The network’s goal is clear: to enhance the fund-raising and deal-making capabilities of Cyberport startups.


The Science Park, which offers incubation programmes in new technology, biomedical technology and web and mobile technology, has set up a US$6.4 million Corporate Venture Fund. The fund will partner with angel investors and venture capital (VC) funds to invest in startups that are either based at the Science Park or have participated in its incubation programmes.


With a growing number of private VC funds attracted by Hong Kong’s startups, as well as incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces now operating in Hong Kong, I am confident that the startup scene in Hong Kong will continue to flourish.


Exceptional opportunities.

Down the technology road, we can look forward to the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area, a national development plan covering Hong Kong, Macau and nine cities in Guangdong Province including Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Zhuhai. With a total population of more than 68 million and an aggregate GDP of more than US$1.4 trillion, the bay area compares favourably with Australia or the Republic of Korea.


Amongst other things, (the) bay area development will bring exceptional opportunities for Hong Kong to join hands with Shenzhen and other bay area cities to develop an international innovation and technology centre very much like Silicon Valley.


It will also allow innovative startups based in Hong Kong to tap into the region’s skilled technical talent pool, its rapid prototyping and advanced manufacturing capabilities, as well as its just-in-time fulfilment and logistics strengths.


One highlight is the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation & Technology Park, with a total floor area of about 1.2 million sq m. Located just below the boundary with Shenzhen, the park will rise as an international centre for innovation and technology research, creating huge opportunities for the bay area, for Hong Kong companies, and, of course, for the companies that partner with us.


The HKSAR Government has just released last month our blueprint for smart city development. You can hear more about our smart city plans at tomorrow’s Connected City event.


Financial technology is also high on our list of priorities. Last September, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced a number of measures to promote smart banking.


These include a regulatory sandbox involving not just the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, but also the Securities & Futures Commission and the Insurance Authority. They will be linked together, creating a single point of entry for cross-sector fintech pilot trials.


Financial Secretary Paul Chan gave these remarks at the StartmeupHK Venture Forum on January 29.

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Gov’t will protect maids

With the development of the community, more and more families need to employ foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) to help with their housework and taking care of their children and elderly.


The number of FDHs working in Hong Kong increased significantly from 1,350 in 1975 to 180,000 in 2008; and further doubled over the past decade to nearly 370,000 at the end of last year. Amongst the FDH population, about 54% come from the Philippines and 43% from Indonesia. The rest come from India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, etc.


At present, FDHs make up about 10% of the workforce in Hong Kong, serving more than 280,000 families. Their contribution to local families as well as the economic development of Hong Kong is beyond doubt. Specifically, they enable local women to work and thus help release the female labour force, making valuable contribution to Hong Kong’s economic development.


The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is committed to safeguarding the labour rights of FDHs working in Hong Kong. In this regard, the passage of the Employment (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2017 — the second reading debate of which will resume next Wednesday (January 31) — will be an important milestone.

The objective of the bill is to strengthen the regulation of employment agencies (EAs) so as to enhance protection for jobseekers (including FDHs). The legislative proposals under the bill seek to increase the maximum penalties for the offences of overcharging of commission from jobseekers and unlicensed operation of EAs; to extend the scope of the overcharging offence; to provide for new grounds upon which the Commissioner for Labour may consider refusing to issue, renew, or revoke the licence of EAs (for example, if an associate of a licensee contravenes Part XII of the Employment Ordinance or any regulation made under section 62 of the Employment Ordinance); and to provide a legal basis for the Commissioner for Labour to issue codes of practice in relation to EAs.


Under the existing legislation, EAs cannot charge a jobseeker a commission that exceeds 10% of his or her first month’s wages upon successful placement. Anyone contravening the relevant requirement is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000. In order to address public concern over EAs overcharging commissions from jobseekers, the Government proposes to raise the penalties significantly to a maximum fine of $350,000 and imprisonment for three years, which are the highest penalty levels under the Employment Ordinance.


In addition, we also propose to extend the scope of the offence of overcharging commission from jobseekers to the associates of a licensee, including the management and employees of EAs. Upon the passage of these legislative proposals, the deterrent effect against overcharging will be greatly enhanced.


I believe the bill is a major breakthrough. It enables the Labour Department to strengthen the regulation of EAs and greatly enhance the protection for local employees, FDHs and employers in using the services of EAs.


The Labour Department has all along been taking rigorous action against violations of the Employment Ordinance and the Employment Agency Regulations by unscrupulous EAs. Since 2014, the Department has increased its manpower to step up inspections of EAs and raised the inspection target from 1,300 to 1,800 per year. Regular liaison mechanisms have been established with consulates-general of major FDH-sending countries in Hong Kong. The Labour Department also works closely with the Immigration Department and Police (e.g. mounting joint operations) to step up our efforts against unscrupulous EAs.


We attach great importance to the promotional and educational efforts to enhance FDHs’ awareness of their labour rights as well. To facilitate jobseekers and employers to gain convenient access to the information relating to the regulation of EAs, the Labour Department launched a dedicated EA Portal in January 2017.


The portal enables the public to check if an EA has a valid licence, browse reference materials, publications, as well as the department’s press releases on cases of successful prosecutions, revocations or refusal of licences, etc. In addition, there is the “FDH corner” section in the portal which is available in Philippine (Tagalog), Indonesian and Thai versions to allow FDHs to browse the information anytime.


FDHs are valuable to us. Their employment rights should be fully protected and respected. I hope the bill will be supported and passed by the Legislative Council so the proposed amendment provisions come into effect on February 9 upon gazettal. This will further enhance our protection of FDHs and local workers.

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung posted this article on his blog on January 28.

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Gov’t cares for elderly

Like many places around the globe, Hong Kong is facing a rapidly ageing population. Today one in 6.5 people in Hong Kong is aged 65 or above. In 20 years, it will be about one in three, and among them the group of “old-olds” or elderly people aged 85 or above, will be more than double from the current 173,000 to around 378,000. It is also expected that three out of five people turning 65 today will live to 85 or beyond and two of them to at least 90. Many Hong Kong people will therefore enjoy a retirement span as long as two or three decades.



The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government attaches great importance to the well-being of our elderly population. At present, a significant 20% of the Government’s recurrent expenditure goes to health services and welfare support for our elderly population. While the demographic shift can be challenging to our healthcare and welfare systems, we see opportunities for exploring innovative policy solutions to keep public services up to date with changing needs and ensure more effective use of limited resources.



The Government is committed to promoting active ageing to unleash and harness the potential of our senior citizens. It is also our policy to accord priority to the provision of home care and community care, supplemented by residential care. We are allocating more resources to enhance community and home care services, with the long-term goal of achieving zero waiting time for service users. This will enable the elderly, especially those in need of extra care, to relax and enjoy life in a familiar environment. For example, to support ageing in place for elderly persons with moderate or severe impairment, we have launched the Pilot Scheme on Community Care Service Voucher for the Elderly. The scheme is now in its second phase and we keep on increasing the service quota as far as possible. The number of vouchers has been increased by 2,000 since last August, and will be further raised to 6,000 in 2018-19.



There are also other new initiatives to cater for different needs. The Pilot Scheme on Home Care & Support for Elderly Persons with Mild Impairment, launched last December, is primarily designed for low-income elderly persons with mild impairment. The Pilot Scheme on Support for Elderly Persons Discharged from Public Hospitals After Treatment, which is expected to be launched next month, will formulate discharge support plans and arrange transitional residential and community care and support services for elderly patients.



Support is also provided for elderly people living in private institutions. A new four-year pilot scheme will be launched in the fourth quarter of this year to assign district-based professional teams comprising social workers, physiotherapists and occupational therapists to provide outreach services for, among others, private residential care homes to support the elderly residents’ social and rehabilitation needs. Visiting medical practitioner services will also be provided to take proactive measures against seasonal influenza and other episodic illnesses, so as to improve the general health of the elderly residents and reduce their reliance on the public healthcare system. In addition, we will include more recognised service providers in the Pilot Scheme on Residential Care Service Voucher for the Elderly to follow through the principle of “money-following-the-user” and enhance the service quality of private elderly homes. We believe that these measures can strengthen the complementary roles of public and private organisations in the provision of elderly care.



To keep improving services and facilities of the public healthcare system, we will deploy ample resources and enhance the supporting infrastructure. We will introduce a new arrangement by undertaking to increase the recurrent funding for the Hospital Authority progressively on a triennium basis, having regard to population growth rates and demographic changes. This will enable the Hospital Authority to address the staffing issue and service demands arising from a growing and ageing population in a more effective and sustained manner.



On supporting infrastructure, the Government and the Hospital Authority will press ahead with the delivery of the 10-year Public Hospital Development Plan, for which $200 billion has been earmarked, and kick-start the next round of public hospital development planning in the coming five years.



On healthcare manpower, over 2,000 medical graduates will register as medical practitioners in the next five years. The Hospital Authority will employ all qualified local medical graduates and provide them with relevant specialist training. It will also proactively recruit qualified non-locally trained doctors through limited registration to provide clinical services in the public healthcare system.



In parallel, the Hospital Authority will set up more nurse clinics and seek to achieve better results by deploying multi-disciplinary teams. It will also increase the number of pharmacists to strengthen its clinical pharmacy service, including considering ways for better resource deployment to improve pharmacy services for elderly persons living in elderly homes.



To enhance community health through cross-sector and multi-disciplinary collaboration, we will regularise the Dementia Community Support Scheme and extend it to all 41 district elderly community centres so that appropriate support services can be provided for elderly people with mild or moderate dementia and their carers through a medical-social collaboration model.



Smart ageing in a smart city will of course involve technology. Innovation and technology is not a single industry, but a new model of development. The development of innovation and technology can lead to new industries and create wealth, thereby improving the daily lives of our people including our elderly. Many innovative technologies such as electronic wheelchairs, medical image scanning systems and medical equipment for stroke rehabilitation developed by local manufacturers have already come on stream.



In this regard, we have launched the $500 million Innovation & Technology Fund for Better Living to support projects that make people’s daily living more convenient, comfortable and safer, or address the needs of specific community groups through the innovative applications of technology. (The) Elderly is of course one of the beneficiary groups.



We also encourage universities and research institutes to translate outstanding local research and development achievements into products and services, including application of technology and innovation in elderly care. To this end, we have introduced the Public Sector Trial Scheme to conduct trials in the public sector to facilitate and promote the realisation and commercialisation of research and development results including those related to gerontechnology.



To proactively promote gerontechnology for improving the quality of life of elderly persons and reduce the burden and pressure on carers and care staff, the Government has earmarked $1 billion for setting up a fund to subsidise elderly service units to trial use and procure or rent technology products. The initiative will also cover rehabilitation service units. As technology progresses, the ways in which we can help elderly persons live independent and satisfying lives will only continue to grow.



While the Government has spared no effort in promoting a smart and caring ageing community in Hong Kong, we need the support of the entire community, the business sector and the academia altogether to achieve the mission.



Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung gave these remarks at the opening ceremony of Golden Age Expo & Summit 2018 on January 26.

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University hailed for nurturing youths

The story of Lingnan University is distinctively associated with the special relationship between Hong Kong and our motherland. Founded in March 1888 as Christian College in Guangzhou, it moved on numerous occasions within Guangdong. It moved to Hong Kong in 1938 and spent a few years here, before moving back to Guangdong. In 1967, the institution was re-established in Hong Kong as Lingnan College (嶺南書院), aiming to provide quality education to the public when tertiary education and university places were scarce at the time. Attended by only 100 students at the beginning, it has thrived over the years. In 1999, the institution was awarded the university title and renamed as Lingnan University.


Since then, it has taken its place as a leading Asian liberal arts university, combining the best of Chinese and Western traditions and 21st century drive and innovation. Indeed, Forbes in 2015 recognised Lingnan University as one of the continent’s top 10 liberal arts colleges. In 2016, the university was commended by the audit report of the Quality Assurance Council under the University Grants Committee, citing its excellence in liberal arts education and quality whole-person development for students. And, in its 2018 Asia University Rankings, QS named Lingnan University among the top 100 Asian universities.


With its foundation of very close teacher-student relationships, Lingnan strives for excellent teaching and student development by its student-oriented faculty and small class teaching. It is the first local university to achieve full, four-year residency for all undergraduates. All-embracing residential life ensures that Lingnan students are as blessed in social and ethical education as they are in intellectual edification.


Connecting with young people occupies a very important place in my Election Manifesto and maiden Policy Address delivered last October. My belief is to nurture the younger generation and develop in them a positive outlook on life, a passion to serve the community, a commitment to society, a sense of national identity, a love for Hong Kong and an international perspective. I am therefore enthusiastic and thankful about Lingnan’s global outreach work. In building connections with international and Mainland universities, broadening its network of student and faculty exchanges, Lingnan expands the horizons and opportunities of its students, nurturing confident, independent young adults for Hong Kong and for the world. To date, the university has more than 190 exchange partners in about 40 countries. A remarkable 90% of the university’s undergraduates participated in exchange programmes over the past academic year.


The university’s strategic collaborations are no less impressive. It was Lingnan University that took the lead in establishing the Alliance of Asian Liberal Arts Universities to boost the development of liberal arts education throughout the region. My congratulations for the very successful Launch Conference held by the Alliance in November last year, which brought together universities and scholars with rich experience and expertise in liberal arts education from all over the world, especially Asia, to share insights and experiences and explore collaboration opportunities.


I am heartened as well by Lingnan’s “Education for Service” motto and the contributions that have long been made by its students, both through research and in community service. Such efforts have increased significantly in recent years and would help lay the solid foundation for a better Hong Kong.


Chief Executive Carrie Lam gave these remarks at Lingnan University’s 50th Anniversary in Hong Kong Celebration Banquet on January 20.

via Moroccan Trader University hailed for nurturing youths

Cross-sector project benefiting youths

Project WeCan is a business-in-community initiative that aims to unleash students’ potential through a wide spectrum of programmes, ranging from academic learning, extracurricular development, life goal planning and real-life business management experience.


The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government supports Project WeCan and has since 2015 provided funding support to the programme on a matching grant basis.


So far the Government has granted $70 million to the project and with the matching grant from the business sector, for which I am most grateful, a total of $140 million has been provided to support the 82 projects benefiting students from 48 schools.


First launched in 2013, the Youth Innovators Bazaar, under Project WeCan, aims to provide opportunities for students to unleash their creativity and entrepreneurial talent through developing retail business from scratch.


This year, over 1,000 from more than 40 schools will learn from professionals from 45 participating organisations including universities, business enterprises and other organisations.


Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung gave these remarks at the Project WeCan Young Innovators Bazaar 2018 kick-off ceremony on January 19.

via Moroccan Trader Cross-sector project benefiting youths