LegCo Panel on Trade and Industry
Meeting on 9 July 1996
Helping Business Programme


This paper briefs Members on the progress in the Government’s Helping Business Programme.

Programme Objectives

2. The Financial Secretary announced the laucnching of the Helping Business Programme in the Budget Speech in March this year. Our aim is to make "the Government, as far as possible, user-friendly for business". This is in turn founded on our belief that we can do more to help the business community in generating the wealth on which our future prosperity depends.environment in Hong Kong within which business can continue to develop and prosper and Government becomes and stays business-friendly.

3. The Programme is an integral part of Government’s efforts to serve the community better. It is a government-wide initiative with the following key objectives -

  1. to cut red tape and eliminate over regulation;
  2. to reduce cost of compliance to business sector and cost of enforcement to Government;
  3. to transfer services out of the public sector to the business sector where appropriate market conditions prevail; and
  4. to improve existing services and introduce new services.


4. Speech earlier this year and The Secretary for the Treasury chairs a Task Force to oversee development and implementation of the Programme. The Task Force has decided to adopt a three-phase approach -

    Phase I : Pilot studies

    Phase II : Gradual expansion

    Phase III : On-going improvement integrated with the daily management of departments.

5. Phase I commenced in mid-May and will take about six months to complete. It comprises seven pilot studies, of which two are service-wide, two are for individual departments and three are on a project basis. They are -

  1. Methods of payment and collection for business transactions;
  2. Public forms on Internet;
  3. Departmental business study in Marine Department;
  4. Departmental business study in Trade Department;
  5. Processing of land exchanges, lease modifications and the related premium assessment and appeal procedures;
  6. "One stop shop" Business Licence Information Centre; and
  7. Provision of "Hong Kong Background Facts" Service.

6. To enlist the support of, and to establish dialogue with, the business sector, the Task Force has so far conducted six??? briefing and discussion sessions with the business sector. Response so far has been encouraging. In the meantime,sector and LegCo Panels etc the Task Force is considering how best to institutionalise the liaison with the business sector.building up. Direct input and suggestions from the business sector will be invited at a later stage.

Finance Branch / Efficiency Unit
July 1996

Last Updated on 21 Aug, 1998