Hong Kong Policy Address 2023: Highlights for Businesses and HR Leaders

Chief Executive, John Lee Ka-chiu delivered the annual 2023 Hong Kong Policy Address on Wednesday, 25 October 2023 encompassing numerous significant announcements, with a pronounced emphasis on strengthening its position as a global financial hub through the development of a more diversified economy.

For business and HR leaders in Hong Kong, here are the noteworthy highlights to take note of:

  • Relaxation in Visa Requirements for Vietnamese, Laotian, and Nepalese

As of 25 October 2023, Hong Kong is set to relax the visa policy for the Vietnamese, along with the criteria for Vietnamese applying for “multiple-entry visas” for business and travel purposes.

Additionally, the visa policy for Laotian and Nepalese talent for employment, training, and study under the University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded institutions will also be relaxed.

  • Eight Educational Institutions Added to List of Qualified Universities Under Top Talent Pass Scheme (TTPS)

As part of its initiative to trawl a higher calibre of individuals through the 2022-introduced Top Talent Pass Scheme visa in Hong Kong, eight educational institutions from Mainland China and overseas will be included in the roster of qualified universities, increasing the total number to 184 educational institutions.

  • Talent in Tech – Launch of the Hong Kong Institute of Information Technology

A strong focus for Hong Kong, programmes and on-the-job training for the Information Technology sector will be introduced for the 2024/2025 academic year.

  • Implementation of Capital Investment Entrant Scheme

Eligible investors who make investments of HK$30 million or above in assets can apply for entry into Hong Kong, with more details to be announced by the end of 2023.

  • Promote the Establishment of a “Headquarters Economy”

Hong Kong is set to encourage external companies to establish corporate divisions in the city, which will support foreign companies in accessing the Mainland China market.

  • “Multiple-entry Visas” to Mainland China for Foreigners Working in Hong Kong-registered Companies

Effective 26 October 2023, foreigners employed in Hong Kong-registered companies may apply for “multiple-entry visas” with the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre in Hong Kong.

  • Revision of the “418” requirement

The Labour Advisory Board (LAB) intends to update the Continuous Contract (or “418”) requirement by shifting the calculation basis to the aggregate working hours over a four-week period, and this adjustment will subsequently be reflected in the Employment Ordinance.

Read also: China Labour Law Updates: September 2023

  • Parents to Receive a Newborn Baby Bonus

Effective 25 October 2023, parents carrying a permanent resident status in Hong Kong will receive a one-off cash bonus of HK$20,000 for each baby born. This measure is set to be in place for the next three years and will be further reviewed.

  • Increase in the Working Family Allowance

Effective as of April 2024, the Working Family Allowance Scheme will increase by 15%.

With labour laws continuously changing and being introduced, it can be a struggle to keep up. Partnering with an HR service provider is a great way to ensure you are always updated. Links International is an industry leader in HR outsourcing with services that include payroll outsourcingvisa applicationPEO/EOR Secondmentoutplacementrecruitment and more! Contact us to learn more on how we can help leverage your business.

For further information on The Chief Executive’s 2023 Policy Address, please head over to The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China’s website: https://www.policyaddress.gov.hk/2023/en/