The Hong Kong government will place a greater focus on “giving the city’s young people more opportunities,” said financial secretary Paul Chan’s at today's annual budget briefing.
Chan has announced a raft of investment in the youth of the city, announcing that the government will invest HK$800 million into a gifted students programme, as well as $100 million into developing Cyberport as a e-sports training and competition venue. HK$200 million will also be invested in public libraries and publishers, with a special focus on getting young people to read more.
An additional HK$2 billion has been earmarked for education; some of that will go towards nursing facilities for students with disabilities. Another HK$2 billion has been set aside for the installation of lifts at public schools for barrier-free access.
The creative industries will also receive a boost, particularly young business owners and start-ups. They will receive up to HK$1 billion of funding from the government through the CreateSmart Initiative, which aims to support industries such as architecture, design, and publishing.
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Chan has also announced a further HK$1 billion to to promote youth development through funding for the recently-established Youth Development Commission.
For students sitting the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education in 2019, the government will waive all fees for exam candidates that year. Further, students from lower-income families will receive a one-off grant of HK$2000.
The budget briefing comes on the heels of the government’s announcement regarding the HK$138 billion surplus; the secretary has also announced greater investment in Hong Kong’s industries. The biggest expenditures will see the government set aside HK$5 billion for its air freight industry, HK$50 billion into local research and development resources, and HK$100 billion in support of a green bonds scheme, which aims to encourage more loans to green businesses.