LCQ17: Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales
Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, to a question by the Hon Wong Ting-kwong in the Legislative Council today (October 24):
The Government launched in the middle of this year the Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (the Fund) with a commitment of $1 billion and the Fund is open for application for a period of five years. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the respective total numbers of applications received, since the launch of the Fund, for the Enterprise Support Programme and the Organisation Support Programme established under the Fund, with a breakdown of the applications by category (please set out the numbers in table form);
(b) of the average amount of subsidy for the applications approved, and the amount of subsidy granted in each case in tabular form; the number of applications rejected and the reasons for that;
(c) given that the Fund has been launched for several months, whether the authorities have reviewed the operation of the Fund and gathered the views from the industry; if they have, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(d) when the authorities will conduct a comprehensive review of the Fund in order to understand its effectiveness?
(a) The Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (BUD Fund) was launched on June 25, 2012. The BUD Fund comprises the Enterprise Support Programme and the Organisation Support Programme, and both are open for applications throughout the year. As at the end of September 2012, 283 applications and 36 applications were received under the Enterprise Support Programme and Organisation Support Programme respectively, with breakdown –set out in Annex 1.
(b) The first batch of 104 applications received under the Enterprise Support Programme had been vetted. Details are set out in Annex 2.
The funding amounts of individual approved applications are listed at Annex 3. For the 45 rejected applications, the major reasons include: the applicant enterprise does not fulfil the eligibility criteria (e.g. it cannot prove that it has substantive business operations in Hong Kong); the holistic business plan provided by the applicant enterprise is too broad-brush or lacks clarity; lack of substantive implementation details; the budget cannot meet the funding rules; or the applicant enterprise cannot show that it has sufficient ability to implement the proposed project, etc.
The first batch of 19 applications received under the Organisation Support Programme had also been vetted. 12 applications were approved, with an average funding amount of around $3.8 million. The funding amounts of approved applications are set out at Annex 4. For the seven rejected applications, the reasons are similar to those under the Enterprise Support Programme, e.g. the project proposal does not provide complete information, is too simple or lacks implementation details, or the applicant organisation fails to show clearly the benefits/effectiveness of the project.
(c) As the Secretariat of the Enterprise Support Programme, the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) has been maintaining close contact with the trade. During the daily processing of applications and promotion of the Programme, HKPC proactively collects and listens to the views of the trade on the operation of the Programme. Since the launch of the BUD Fund in June 2012 and until the end of September 2012, HKPC had held eight public seminars to promote the Programme to and have exchanges with over 1 000 persons from the trade and industrial sectors. It had also taken part in more than 10 events organised by business and sectoral associations to introduce the Programme to their members and listen to their views. As for the Organisation Support Programme, the Trade and Industry Department (TID) has also been closely liaising with the trade, and has handled nearly 400 enquiries or meetings. TID will continue to closely monitor the views of the trade and the applicants through various channels to refine the implementation details of the Programme.
(d) Subject to the funding balance, the application period of the BUD Fund is expected to last for five years. We will closely monitor the operation of the Enterprise Support Programme and Organisation Support Programme, and review their effectiveness at an appropriate time.