Background

To further support local enterprises to rise up to the challenges facing Hong Kong’s economy, the 2019-20 Budget proposed to inject HK$1 billion into the BUD Fund and to extend the geographical scope of the BUD Fund to include all economies with which Hong Kong has signed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), now and in future, i.e. to launch the BUD "FTA Programme" (subsuming thereunder the "ASEAN Programme") in addition to the "Mainland Programme".  The Finance Committee of the Legislative Council approved the enhancement proposal and funding injection of HK$2 billion (including the HKD$1 billion injection announced by the Financial Secretary in August 2019 for enhancing the Mainland Programme) in December 2019. The cumulative funding ceiling per enterprise under the "FTA Programme" is HK$2,000,000. 
 

The BUD "FTA Programme" which covers applications for undertaking projects to develop the markets of ASEAN (i.e. Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), Australia, Chile, the four member states of the European Free Trade Association (i.e. Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), Georgia, Macao and New Zealand. 

 

" FTA Programme"

Eligibility
 All non-listed enterprises registered in Hong Kong under the Business Registration
 Ordinance (Chapter 310) with substantive business operations in Hong Kong are
 eligible to  apply
Funding
ceiling
per project 

 HK $1 million 

Cumulative
funding ceiling per enterprise

HK $2 million for a maximum of 20 projects

Disbursement
of Funds

 

Applicant enterprise can select either method [1] -  Initial Payment required or [2] - Initial Payment not required to submit application.
For details of the funding arrangements and financial management, including the personal guarantee arrangement, please refer to paragraph 5 of the "Guide to Application (FTA Programme)".

 

Project Monitoring 

Project Duration
Submission of Progress  Reports
and Annual Audited Accounts
Submission of Final Report and
Final Audited Accounts

18 months or below   

 Not required

 Within 2 months upon project completion

Over 18 months and
up to 24 months
 1 progress report and annual audited
 accounts for the first 12 months,
 to be submitted within 1 month after
 the relevant 12-month period

 Within 2 months upon project completion

 

Disbursement of Funds

 

Funding Disbursement Method
Method [1]
With initial payment 
Method [2]
Without initial payment
Project Duration of 18 months or below   
Initial payment: 75% of total approved Government funding
 
Mid-term payment: not applicable
 
Final payment: balance of approved Government funding (subject to actual expenditure upon project completion)
 
Initial payment: not applicable
 
Mid-term payment: not applicable
 
Final payment: approved Government funding on recognisable project expenditure
 
 
Project Duration of more than 18 months and up to 24 months
 
Initial payment: 75% of total approved Government funding
 
Mid-term payment: not applicable
 
Final payment: balance of approved Government funding (subject to actual expenditure upon project completion)
Initial payment: not applicable
 
Mid-term payment*: 50% of approved Government funding at maximum (subject to project progress and actual expenditure)
 
Final payment: balance of approved Government funding (subject to actual expenditure upon project completion)
 
*Disbursement is subject to acceptance of progress report and annual audited accounts

 

Download Guide to Application (FTA Programme)

Application Form “Type (i) Project Application” (FTA Programme)

Application Form “Type (ii) Project Application” (FTA Programme)

The above application guideline and application form for the enhanced “FTA Programme” only apply to applications submitted on or after 20 January 2020.

 

Important notes to applicants

  • The BUD Fund Implementer (the Implementer) has not appointed or designated any consultancy companies or organizations to provide any fee charging services in relation to the BUD fund (including but not limited to assisting the enterprises to submit applications, formulation of the Holistic Business Plans and implementation of approved projects).
  • The Implementer has not recognized or endorsed the service quality and capability of any consultant/ company which had assisted the funded enterprises to formulate the business plan / implement the funded projects.  Any consultancy companies or organizations claiming to be approved or designated by the Implementer for promoting or soliciting business are misleading and making misrepresentation, the applicants should report the cases to the Implementer for following up and taking appropriate actions.
  • It is the responsibility of an applicant enterprise to complete an application form timely and truthfully and to provide all supporting documents.  Inaccurate and incomplete information may affect the processing of the application.  Any misrepresentation or omission of information may lead to rejection of the application and/or full recovery by The Secretariat of any grant which has been awarded.  It is an offence in law to obtain property/pecuniary advantage by deception or assisting persons to obtain property/pecuniary advantage.  Any person who does so may be liable to legal proceedings.

 

Reminder on Application Submission

A full set of completed application form together with valid supporting documents and their softcopies should be submitted to the designated collection location.   Any application with incomplete information (such as only with soft copy or hard copies) will not be processed until the completed set of documents have been received. The Implementer possesses the final decision right for any dispute cases, if any. Application documents should include:

1.  Soft copy (in MS word format) of the completed application form (either in English or Chinese)      

2.  1 hard copy of application form with signature and company chop     

3.  Supporting documents of the applicant:

-  Copy of the Business Registration Certificate  

-  Copy of documentary evidence showing the personal details of the key owners/ shareholders  (e.g. Annual Return of the Companies Registry (Form AR1) etc) 

-  Copy documentary evidence proving that the applicant has substantive business operations in Hong Kong       

-  Copy of documentary evidence proving the direct investment relationship between the applicant and its FTA entity

 

Application Submission

The programme is open for application all year round.  Applications are processed on a continual basis instead of by batches on a quarterly basis.

 

Other Useful Information

Click here for the HKTDC’s Belt and Road Initiative ASEAN guide for SMEs to get the latest information on ASEAN market intelligence.
 
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