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HKSAR gov't announces new round of measures to support enterprises, safeguard jobs

(Xinhua)    08:13, October 23, 2019

HONG KONG, Oct. 22 -- China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on Tuesday announced a new round of measures costing about 2 billion HK dollars (about 255 million U.S. dollars) to assist sectors hard-hit by the economic downturn, including retail, catering, transport and tourism.

Paul Chan, financial secretary of the HKSAR government, said in a media briefing on Tuesday that the government will provide fuel subsidy for the transport trade for six months or a one-off fuel subsidy, which will cost about 1,365 million HK dollars (174 million U.S. dollars) and benefit around 61,000 taxi drivers or drivers of minibuses on non-scheduled services, 180 public transport operators, and owners of 130,000 commercial vehicles and vessels.

A one-off survey fee subsidy for local commercial marine vessels will be provided, which will cost about 16.5 million HK dollars (2.1 million U.S. dollars) and benefit around 6,300 local commercial marine vessels.

Furthermore, a reduction of rental for fee-paying public car parks, catering establishments, retail stores and other premises leased by the HKSAR government will be offered, costing nearly 600 million HK dollars (76.5 million U.S. dollars).

Chan said that over the past few months, the social unrest has not only damaged Hong Kong's image as a safe place and an international financial, commercial, trade and aviation hub, but also hit the local economy hard.

"The first two rounds (of measures) have been welcomed by the community and the sectors related," Chan said, adding that the HKSAR government will continue to monitor the situation closely, and would not hesitate to roll out additional measures to help when there are areas that require further assistance.

Because of the social unrest, a 50-percent year-on-year drop in the number of visitors coming to Hong Kong was recorded in the first two weeks of October, putting a high pressure on the tourism sector, according to Edward Yau, secretary for commerce and economic development of the HKSAR government.

The HKSAR government will work with the tourism sector and find ways to boost business, Yau added.

The HKSAR government announced helping measures costing over 19.1 billion HK dollars (2.44 billion U.S. dollars) in mid-August and early September.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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