“Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestics Sales” (the BUD Fund)
To help SMEs, including start-ups, grasp economic opportunities and boost their competitiveness, the 2018-19 Budget proposed to extend the geographical scope of the BUD Fund to include the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) markets by launching the “ASEAN Programme”, and to increase the cumulative funding ceiling per enterprise for projects involving the Mainland China Market (the “Mainland Programme”).
The 2019-20 Budget proposed to further extend the scope of the Fund to include all economics with which Hong Kong had sign the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), to launch the “FTA Programme” (submuming thereunder the ASEAN Programme. Enabling enterprises to explore the new markets and new business opportunities.
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, irrespective of whether they belong to the manufacturing or service sector or whether they already have any business operations in the FTA economics and the Mainland China.
Funding will be provided on a matching basis, i.e. the Government will cover a maximum of 50% of the total approved project cost and the enterprise has to contribute no less than 50% of the total project cost in cash. During the tenure of the BUD Fund, each enterprise may obtain funding for a maximum of forty approved projects and the total cumulative funding amount is $4,000,000 under the “Mainland Programme” and the “FTA Programme”.
Any projects that assist individual Hong Kong enterprises in exploring and developing the Mainland China and FTA economics markets through developing brands, upgrading and restructuring operations and promoting sales are eligible.