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HKSAR Government announces COVID-19 relief package

The Chief Executive Carrie Lam has tonight announced a HK$137.5 billion (US$17.6 billion) economic relief package to help individuals and industries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

This takes to HK$287.5 billion (US$36.85 billion) - about 10% of GDP - the total pledged by the HKSAR Government to help offset the economic fallout from COVID-19 including the HK$120 billion relief package in the 2020-21 Budget and the HK$30 billion anti-epidemic fund.

Last week, the French Chamber joined hands with the American, Australian, British, and German Chambers of Commerce to write to the Financial Secretary urging him to consider urgent relief measures to help businesses maintain employment.

The 2020-21 deficit will rise to HK$276.6 billion (9.5% of GDP)  from the Budget forecast of HK$139.1 billion (4.8% of GDP).    

The package covers four major areas

1. Job retention, job creation, job advancement
2. Sector specific relief
3. Government rental concessions, fee waivers, deferral of loans
4. Government facilitation in other areas

On job retention, the government will launch a HK$80 billion Employment Support Scheme (ESS).
- All employers making MPF contributions are eligible.
- Capped at $9,000 per month (i.e. 50% of monthly median wage of HK$18,000) per employee for six months.

More information about this scheme.

On job creation, the government and private sectors will create 30,000 time-limited jobs at a cost of $6 billion; civil service will recruit 10,000 people in 2020-21

On sector specific relief, HK$21 billion pledged for 16 support measures.

See further information on the initiatives and the Government's latest brochure on support measures.

Useful links

The French Chamber responds to the COVID-19 crisis Government measures to assist SMEs in the ongoing crisis