HKGFA welcomes the 2024-25 Budget by the HKSARG on promoting green finance and green technology development

news-image

In the 2024-25 Budget Speech by Financial Secretary of the HKSAR Government, it is suggested that the development of green finance and green technology in Hong Kong will continue to play a key role in supporting Hong Kong’s net-zero agenda and pathway to a sustainable future.

Dr. MA Jun, Chairman & President Hong Kong Green Finance Association (HKGFA), welcomes the latest Budget Speech and says that “We are excited to see Hong Kong’s commitment to green transition with key initiatives and funding support announced in the Budget Speech by the Financial Secretary today. In particular, the extension and expansion of Hong Kong’s Green and Sustainable Finance Grant Scheme will help further support the growth of our sustainable debt issuance market and encourage innovation of transition finance products. The development of a roadmap for the local sustainability disclosures ecosystem is also pivotal to reinforcing Hong Kong’s leading role in green finance and its ESG capability to serve the Asia market.  The creation of application scenarios for decarbonisation in the aviation, shipping, building and transport sectors will help attract more green-tech companies to operate in Hong Kong.”

“Hong Kong is well positioned to be a leading international green tech and green finance hub with significant opportunities brought about by the global transition agenda. Supported by HKGFA, the Hong Kong GreenTech Summit 2024 started off the inaugural Hong Kong Green Week with overwhelmingly around 700 in person attendance and more than 20,000 views online. HKGFA will continue to support the Government’s efforts to further enhance the role of Hong Kong as an international green finance and green technology hub by facilitating public-private sector dialogues and offering capacity building services.  We will also work through the Greater Bay Area Green Finance Alliance to facilitate international investors’ access to quality projects, capital and technology in the region.”

 

Excerpt of the Budget Speech on Green Finance and Green Technology:


Moving towards a Green Future

75. ”Green development is a defining feature of high‑quality development”.  As global economies pursue carbon neutrality, green transformation creates huge business opportunities and financing needs, leading to industry clusters of great diversity.  Sustainable fuels, energy saving, emission reduction and carbon-capture technologies continue to emerge.

Green Finance

76. Being an international financial centre, Hong Kong is also rising as an international green finance centre.

77. The Government is hosting “Hong Kong Green Week” this week, comprising events covering technology, finance and other fields.  It has brought together industry leaders from the Asia‑Pacific region to examine issues such as green development and climate finance.  This autumn, the HKMA will co‑host a Joint Climate Finance Conference in Hong Kong with the Dubai Financial Services Authority. The Conference will explore transition financing opportunities and challenges for the Middle East and Asia.


Extend the Green and Sustainable Finance Grant Scheme

78. The Government has so far provided subsidies to eligible bond issuers and loan borrowers for the issuance of more than 340 green and sustainable debt instruments in Hong Kong through the Green and Sustainable Finance Grant Scheme. The subsidies totalled US$100 billion, enriching our green and sustainable finance ecosystem.  We propose to extend the scheme, which is due to expire in mid‑2024, to 2027, and expand the scope of subsidies to cover transition bonds and loans.  This will encourage related industries in the region to make use of Hong Kong’s transition financing platform as they move towards decarbonisation.


Formulate Sustainability Disclosure Standards

79. Accurate information is essential to the promotion of sustainable financing. It is also the priority of international organisations and government agencies in the next few years.  To deepen Hong Kong’s green and sustainable finance development, enterprises must align their practices in sustainability disclosure with international standards.  Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau and the SFC will formulate a roadmap and vision statement to assist companies and financial institutions in sustainability reporting and the analysis of relevant data, elucidating our vision of promoting green and sustainable finance.


Green Technology

80. Hong Kong also possesses advantages in green technology.  More than 200 green-technology companies work out of Hong Kong, with some equipped with globally competitive technologies and have successfully tapped into Mainland and overseas markets.  And the Greater Bay Area cities, apart from their market scale, enjoy strong capabilities in research, advanced manufacturing and commercialisation.  Together, we have what it takes to become Asia’s leading green technology hub.

81. The Government’s Green Tech Fund funds research and development (R&D) projects which help Hong Kong decarbonise and enhance environmental protection, and encourages their subsequent practical applications.  With $400 million injected into the Fund, thirty projects from local universities, public research institutes and enterprises have been approved, involving a total grant of about $130 million for subsidising local research projects

82. We will launch the Green and Sustainable Fintech Proof‑of‑Concept Subsidy Scheme in the first half of this year.  It will provide early-stage funding support for green fintech, facilitating commercialisation and fostering the development of new green fintech initiatives.

Green Shipping

83. Given maritime industry’s vast market potential for green transformation, the Marine Department is planning to provide incentives for Hong Kong‑registered ships that have attained high ratings under the international standards on decarbonisation formulated by the International Maritime Organization.  This will involve about $65 million in funding. And the Transport and Logistics Bureau (TLB), in collaboration with the Environment and Ecology Bureau (EEB) and other relevant departments, is conducting a feasibility study to provide green-methanol bunkering for local and ocean‑going vessels.  We expect to publish an action plan for Hong Kong’s development into a green maritime fuel-bunkering centre this year.


Green Aviation

84. We are committed to developing Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) into a green airport.  The Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) is working in collaboration with relevant government departments to simplify approval procedures for the transportation and storage of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), so as to encourage more airlines to use SAF in Hong Kong.  In addition, the AA has begun a consultancy study on SAF development trends worldwide, which will also put forward recommendations on policy measures and infrastructure etc.  The consultancy study is expected to be completed in the third quarter this year.


Green City

Launch a Pilot Scheme on Building-Integrated Photovoltaics

85. The Government has taken the lead in applying renewable energy (RE) in government buildings and facilities.  We will launch a pilot scheme at the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department Headquarters to explore photovoltaic technology applications on the facades of government buildings.  We will also support public and private organisations to use RE to help Hong Kong realise carbon neutrality.


New Energy Vehicles

86. Through its New Energy Transport Fund, the Government has been promoting trials of various new-energy public transport, including new-energy buses, while encouraging the industry to conduct trials on a variety of new-energy commercial transport, including electric-goods vehicles and electric coaches.

87. The Government has been encouraging a wider use of electric vehicles.  The first registration tax (FRT) concessions for electric vehicles, due to terminate at the end of March, will be extended for two years.  Nevertheless, given the price reduction of electric vehicles and increasing availability of vehicle options, we will reduce the concessions by 40 per cent.  Specifically, the maximum FRT concession for electric private cars (e‑PCs), granted under the “One‑for‑One Replacement” Scheme, will be adjusted to $172,500, whereas the concession ceiling for general e‑PCs will be lowered to $58,500.  At the same time, e‑PCs valued at over $500,000 before tax will not be entitled to concessions under the “affordable users pay” principle.  As for other types of electric vehicles, including electric commercial vehicles, electric motorcycles and electric motor tricycles, the FRT will continue to be waived in full over the next two years.  The EEB will announce details in due course.

Attracting Enterprises, Capital and Talent on All Fronts

Hong Kong Investment Corporation Limited

33. Performing its role of channelling capital and leveraging market resources, the HKIC will attract more I&T companies to establish their presence in Hong Kong, accelerating the development of strategic industries.  The first batch of direct investment and co‑investment projects will be implemented in the first half of this year, covering areas such as life technology, green technology and finance, semi‑conductors and chips, as well as the upgrading and transformation of manufacturing industries.

 

Full Budget Speech: https://www.budget.gov.hk/2024/eng/speech.html

Contact Us

HKGFA Address
Suite 2405,
9 Queen's Road Central,
Hong Kong
HKGFA Email
info@hkgreenfinance.org
HKGFA Phone
(+852) 3579 4391