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Hong Kong reaffirms US$642m spending to boost airfreight logistics


HONG Kong's Financial Secretary, Paul Chan, has reaffirmed the government's plan, which he launched last year, to set aside HKD5 billion (US$642 million) for redevelopment of the air mail centre at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG).

While delivering his budget last week, Mr Chan said the investment is needed "to reinforce [Hong Kong's] leading position in airfreight logistics."

He noted the mail centre supports growing e-commerce traffic through HKG. While 2019 and 2020 airport and carrier cargo operations have been hampered by Hong Kong protests and the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in mainland China and beyond, such an investment was essential.

Initial preparations for the redevelopment have already been completed, with a funding application expected for submission to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong within the year, according to Mr Chan, reports New York's Air Cargo World.

The new budget also implements a US$44 million subsidy pilot programme, allowing third-party logistics providers to receive subsidies for the launch of up to four projects. Mr Chan expects about 300 companies to benefit from the programme.

The major funding of Hong Kong's logistics industry reflects the investment approach of the larger budget, which represents a record deficit. The funding is intended to stimulate the economy and support citizens during a difficult economic and political environment.

"I believe that only with such a budget can we help our community and local enterprises ride out their difficulties," Mr Chan said during his introductory remarks.
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