Published in Hong Kong News on 14.04.2020
COVID-19: Subsidies in Hongkong
In Hong Kong, as in many other parts of the region, the COVID-19 pandemic is slowing down. This provides the opportunity to address the economic consequences .
Due to the economic impact of the global shutdown, the Hong Kong government has taken measures to stabilize the economic situation and established a Pandemic Response Fund to mitigate the negative effects of the corona crisis.
The fund is designed to provide support and assistance to industries and citizens affected by the epidemic.
The first round of HKD 30 billion (USD 3.87 billion) was announced on 14.02.2020. This package includes support for the hospital authority, promotion of local mask production and procurement of medical equipment. In addition, financial support for the retail, restaurant and transport sectors was announced.
As the crisis spread globally and the economic impact was more predictable, the second phase of the package, worth HKD 137.5 billion (USD 17.74 billion), was announced on 8 April.
This second phase has 3 main objectives.
- Preservation of jobs
- Promotion of employees
- job creation
One of the key issues is to support local companies in their salary payments in order to prevent short-term redundancies. To this end, the government provides support payments of up to HKD 9,000 (approx. USD 1,161) per employee per month for 6 months. In total, more than 2.5 million workers are expected to benefit from this.
In addition, sectors that have been particularly hard hit by the crisis will be supported. These sectors include education, transport, entertainment, tourism, construction, catering and aviation.