The 2019 budget address delivered by Hong Kong’s financial secretary, Paul Chan on Wednesday had nothing new specifically for the territory’s marine sector.
Mr Chan noted this morning: “The Government has commissioned the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board to set up a dedicated task force to study tax and other measures, with a view to attracting ship finance companies to establish their presence in Hong Kong and developing Hong Kong as a ship leasing centre in the Asia-Pacific region. The study is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.”
The proposed concessions to ship leasing companies were revealed by the chief executive during her policy address in October 2018.
Mr Chan’s other announcement, namely that the Government aims “to promote the development of marine insurance so that shipowners and shipping companies can enjoy better support, the Government will offer a 50% profits tax concession to eligible insurance businesses including the marine insurance industry,” was previously unveiled by Mr Chan in August 2018. Unlike the measure regarding ship leasing it appears that there is no available timeframe for introducing tax concessions for the insurance industry.
Responding to the Government’s proposal in August, Bernard Chan, executive councillor and head of Asia Insurance summed it up when he told the South China Morning Post: “A tax incentive alone is not enough. Singapore has been very successful in providing training and other support to establish an ecosystem for the marine insurance industry. Hong Kong needs to provide more education and other measures to build up the industry.”