Legislative Council Panel on Trade and Industry

Implementation of the Services Support Fund by Industry Department


At the finance Committee meeting on 12.7.96, when Members considered paper FCR (96-97)41 regarding new captical account subhead 'Services Support Fund' (SSF) with a commitment of $50 million under Head 73 Industry Department, the director-General of Industry undertook to provide the Panel with further information on the specific implementation plans of the scheme.


2.An advisory body, the SSF Vetting Committee, has been established to advise the Director-General of Industry on the administration of the SSF. The committee, which comprised experts from various service or service-related sectors, met on 18.10.96 and set down the administrative guidelines and vetting criteria for the SSF.

3.The Vetting Committee has agreed that services-support bodies, trade and industry associations, higher education institutions, professional bodies, research institutes and locally incorporated companies would all be eligible to apply for the SSF, as long as the project would help the overall development and the competitiveness of Hong Kong's service industry. The project should also be non-profit making in nature, except for the purpose of the project's long-term self-sufficiency. Recipient organisations will be required to disseminate the project results to the relevant service sector.

4.All applications will be considered by the Vetting Committee which makes recommedations to the Director-Genersl of Industry.

5.Funding support will normally be given as a grant, but may also take the form of an interest-free or interest-bearing loan in special cases. Recipient organisations will need to keep a seperate account for each funded project and submit periodic progress reports to the Industry Department. Wherever necessary, on-the-spot inspection will be arranged to ensure that progress has been made as claimed. The Vetting Committee and the Industry Department will have access to all information relating to the funded projects.

6.The Vetting Committee has agreed that there will be three tranches of applications. The deadline for the first batch of applications was 31 December 1996, and 113 applications have been received. The applications cover a wide spectrum of serviec sectors, including information technology, telecommunications, wholesale and retail, import and export trade, and financial services. The applications will be considered by the SSF Vetting Committee in February, and the vetting results will be announced in March/April 1997.

Trade and Industry Branch

February 1997

Last Updated on 21 August 1998