Everything You Need to Know About the Policy Address 2023
During his second policy address at LegCo on 25th October 2023, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee laid out his vision for the city’s future to the public. In addition to plans for new public housing in the coming decade, Lee also unveiled new plans for talent attraction and retention.
In this Pacific Prime Hong Kong article, we will go through the key points made during the policy address that affects expats coming into HK as well as expats who are already in the city.
Policy Address General Overview
During the policy address, Lee revealed his future plans for the city, from boosting the birth rate and providing additional public housing to tourism developments and the CreateSmart Initiative which encourages development in the local film industry.
The policy address was broken down into several key points:
- Upholding the principle of “One Country, Two Systems” and safeguarding national security
- Improving governance
- Building a diversified economy
- Attracting and retaining talents
- Building a livable and vibrant city
- Promoting fertility and creating a pro-childbearing environment
- Caring for the elderly
- Promoting diversified youth development
- Healthy Hong Kong
Talent Attraction and Retention
In the policy address, one main focus in Lee’s plan for the future is to attract foreign talents and talent retention. Lee’s vision indicates that there will be changes made to relax criteria for the multi-entry visa.
Hong Kong Talent Engage Physical Offices
Plans were also revealed to establish the Hong Kong International Legal Talents Training Academy as well as the Hong Kong International Academy Against Corruption to transform Hong Kong into a talent nurturing base in Asia.
Whilst these changes may not bring much change to expats already in Hong Kong, we can expect to see a surge in expats coming to Hong Kong seeking new opportunities.
Relax Visa Requirements
Moving forward, the government will be implementing changes to encourage foreign talents to work and start new businesses in Hong Kong. Changes will be made to the multiple-entry visa which allows expats and foreign staff of companies in Hong Kong to travel to the Mainland.
The new change will relax visa criteria for Vietnamese, Laotian, and Nepalese applications as well as prioritize visa processing from these regions.
Improve Care for the Elderly
Lee also mentioned in the policy address that the government aims to foster an inclusive community and provide better products and services to the elderly, strengthen services of residential care homes for persons with disabilities, and establish new support service centers for ethnic minorities.
These focuses can provide greater benefits for expats planning to retire in Hong Kong.
International Hub for Post-Secondary Education
In order to build an international hub for post-secondary education, the government will double the admission quota of non-local students by government-funded post-secondary institutions to 40%.
Additional support such as scholarships and other related support will be strengthened to encourage students from overseas and mainland students to pursue their education in HK.
Healthy Hong Kong
Lee revealed in the policy address that in order to create a healthier Hong Kong, a preparatory office for the Hong Kong Center of Medical Products Regulation will be set up to adopt a “primary evaluation” approach in the registration and approval of new medical devices and new drugs.
The government will also launch the eHealth+ service which deposits personalized digital health records and allows users to carry their e-health records and appointments on their mobile devices at all times for convenience.
Lee also expressed that the government will aim to reduce waiting time of stable new cases of ear, nose and throat, and orthopedics and traumatology by 10% in 2024-25.
To wrap it all up, according to the Chief Executive’s 2023 Policy Address, the HK government will be rolling out a number of new changes that can potentially improve the quality of life for locals as well as expats and foreigners.
Relaxed visa criteria will open the gates to overseas talents, giving local businesses a large pool of talents to recruit. Changes to the multiple-entry visa will also encourage businesses to expand their business into the mainland for more opportunities.
As expats entering Hong Kong, it is important to understand that healthcare in the city, whilst great, can also come at a high cost. As such it is important to ensure that you are properly insured during your stay in HK to prevent paying medical fees out-of-pocket.
If you are looking to secure a health insurance plan that covers your needs within your budget, Pacific Prime HK can help you! With over 20 years of experience in the industry, our insurance experts can help you navigate through complicated processes and present you with a plan that fits you.
Contact us today and get a free obligation-free plan comparison and free quote!
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