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HOTELS & TOURISM | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Hong Kong rolls out $1.02b convention and exhibition subsidy scheme

This is in light of the gradual resumption of C&E activities in mid- and late July.

The government has established the Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme amounting $1.02b for participants and organisers of convention and exhibition (C&E) activities, a press release revealed.

This scheme is under the Anti-epidemic Fund, in light of the gradual resumption of C&E activities in mid- and late July.

The subsidy scheme has two parts. The first one subsidises exhibitors of exhibitions organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) 50% of their participation fees and subject to a cap of $10,000 per standard booth and 10 booths per exhibitor each time. Participants of HKTDC's major conventions may also get a subsidy equivalent to 50% of their participation fees, subject to a cap of $10,000 each time.

A spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said that the above part will be launched on 16 July for 12 months until 15 July 2021. This is also applicable to all HKTDC's exhibitions and major conventions commenced during the period.

Eligible exhibitors and participants of major conventions do not need to submit applications as HKTDC will directly deduct the amount of the scheme's subsidy from the amount receivable.

Furthermore, eligible small and medium enterprises (SMEs) may apply in tandem for funding support under the SME Export Marketing Fund (EMF) to cover their participation fees on a matching basis. The HKTDC and the Trade and Industry Department would work closely together in order to streamline application procedures so that eligible SMEs could obtain the subsidies.

According to this arrangement, using a standard booth in an exhibition as an example, if the participation fee is $20,000 or less, the exhibitor can take part in the exhibition for free. If the participation fee is over $20,000, the exhibitor only needs to pay for the remainder after deducting the subsidies from the scheme and EMF for participating in the exhibition.

Meanwhile, the second part of the scheme subsidises organisers of exhibitions and international conventions held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and AsiaWorld-Expo 100% of the venue rental without a cap. It will be launched on 24 July for 12 months until 23 July 2021, and is applicable to all exhibitions and international conventions commenced during the period.

Eligible exhibitors may also apply for funding support under the EMF to cover their participation fees of the relevant events on a matching basis.

In general, eligible organisers are required to submit applications via the two venue operators after the events. To ease the cash flow of organisers, if an exhibition has been held in the two venues for the past five years, the organiser may submit an application two months before the event to obtain in advance a subsidy equivalent to 50% of venue rental. The remaining subsidy will then be disbursed upon completion of the exhibition. 

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