2021-22 Budget Address highlights

Financial Secretary Paul Chan has unveiled HK$120 billion in counter cyclical measures in the 2021-22 Budget Address delivered on 24 February. It comes after a two year long economic recession, even as brighter prospects loom on the horizon. Despite a record deficit of HK$257.6 billion in the last financial year, the Financial Secretary expects GDP to rise between 3.5-5.5% in the year ahead against the backdrop of the territory’s ongoing vaccine rollout.

Among the numerous specific measures that were announced, the French Chamber selected five top highlights:

  • HK$5,000 voucher to all permanent residents (aged 18 or above)
  • Up-to HK$6 million low-interest loan available for SMEs with 100% guarantee by the Government
  • HK$1bn invested in the CreateSmart Initiative for the advancement of creative industries
  • 100% reduction in profits tax for enterprises for 2020-21 (up to a ceiling of HK$10,000)
  • $9.5 billion for Innovation and Technology Fund in two instalments
  • Waiver of business registration fees for 2021-22

For more information on the Budget, visit the official website:


2020 and 2021 numbers in a snapshot:

- Economic Performance in 2020 -

GDP growth: -6.1% - the worst recession ever for the SAR
Headline inflation: 0.3%
Underlying inflation: 1.3%
Unemployment (latest): 7% - double the rate of last year

- Economic Forecast for 2021 -

GDP growth: 3.5 – 5.5%
Headline inflation: 1.6%
Underlying inflation: 1%


Extended highlights


HK in 2020 and forecasts

- Second consecutive year of recession, record -6.1% percent GDP growth (consumption -10.1%, investment -11.5%)

- Unemployment up to 7% from 3.3%

- Sharp decline of exports (-0.3% for goods, -36.8% for services)

- HK expects between 3.5% and 5.5% growth in 2020, 3.3% average between 2022 and 2025

- Government Revenue (2021-22): $591.1bn, Government Expenditure (2021-22): 727.8bn


News from the pandemic

- Goal to vaccinate over half the population by end of year


Support enterprises

- Continuation of reduction in profit tax reduction by 100% (up to $10 000)

- Continuation of waiver of business registration fee

- Extension (in time and flexibility) of the Special 100% Guarantee Product (up to $6m)

- Extension of Pre-Approved Principal Payment Holiday Scheme

- Reduction of profit tax up to $10 000


Relieve hardships

- Reduction of salaries tax up to $10 000, extra special allowances


Stimulate the economy
- $5,000 e-vouchers for eligible permanent resident

- $375 million for HKTDC

- $934 million to support tourism

- $1.5 bn for the Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales


Financial services
- Issue $24 billion in silver bonds and $15 billion in iBonds
- Issue green bonds totalling $175.5 billion over next five years


Innovation and technology
- $200 million for school IT programmes
- $9.5 billion for Innovation and Technology Fund

Creative industries

- $1 billion into CreateSmart Initiative


Green Initiatives

- Roadmap on popularisation of electric vehicles and increase in first registration tax bands for private cars by 15% and vehicle registration fee by 30%

- $555 million for Country Parks

- Additional $1bn to be injected in the Recycling Fund