BUD Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales
Enhance competitiveness in Mainland China and ASEAN Market

BUD Fund

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government setup a “Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales” (“the BUD Fund“) in June 2012 to assist enterprises to explore and develop the Mainland market through brand development, upgrading and restructuring their operations and promoting domestic sales in the Mainland.

In August 2018, the government extended the geographical scope of the “BUD Fund” to cover the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (“ASEAN”) markets, and then further expanded the geographical coverage to other economies with which Hong Kong had signed Free Trade Agreements (“FTAs”) in January 2020 to help businesses seize economic opportunities.

The Government launched enhancement measures by phases in July 2021, including extending the geographical coverage of the Fund to include all economies with which Hong Kong has signed Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (“IPPAs“).

In order to strengthen support for enterprises to enhance their competitiveness and develop diversified markets, starting from November 2022, the cumulative funding limit for each enterprise under the “BUD Fund” has been increased to HK$7,000,000, and the maximum number of approved projects per enterprise has been increased to 70.

Funded Projects

Eligible Hong Kong enterprises can apply for funding for projects aimed at developing the mainland market through brand development, upgrading and transformation, and/or expanding domestic sales. Some examples that fit the relevant categories include:

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Branding
Brand Strategy, Brand Building, Positioning and identity, Brand Equity Research, Brand Promotion, and etc.

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Upgrading & Restructuring
New Product Design, Adoption of Advanced Technology, Management and Logistics System Upgrading, Manufacturing Automation, and etc.

 

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Promoting Sales
Marketing Strategy and Research, Sales Strategic Planning, Sales Channel Establishment and Management, Advertisements, Promotion of Product(s)/Service(s) and etc.

 

To encourage local enterprises to explore and develop in Mainland and ASEAN markets, The Government has engaged Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) as the implementation partner of the BUD Fund to assist Hong Kong enterprises. In order to strengthen the support to enterprises in enhancing their competitiveness and developing diversified markets, the cumulative funding ceiling per enterprise under the BUD Fund has been increased to HK$7,000,000 and the maximum number of approved projects per enterprise has been increased to 70 in November 2022.

BUD "Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales” Enhancement Measures

Application Funding Scope

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. Unless they are in the forced manufacturing or service industries, or have business operations in mainland China and ASEAN, they are eligible to apply for funding.

Required Documents

One set of the original copy of Application
form (in MS word format, Chinese or English version) is signed by the
authorized person and stamped by the company. Other supporting documents are:

  • Copy of the Business Registration
    Certificate and the Company Registry Certificate;
  • Copy of the documentary evidence
    showing the personal details of owners/shareholders holding 30% or more
    ownership (up to the ultimate level of natural persons if the applicant is held
    by company(ies)), e.g. Form 1(a) of the Business Registration Office, Annual
    Return of the Companies Registry (Form AR1)
  • Copy of the documentary evidence
    proving that the applicant has substantive business operations in Hong Kong

  • Copy of the documentary proof of the
    annual sales turnover of the applicant in Hong Kong (including audited
    accounts) and the Mainland (if business has commenced) in the previous year
    (not applicable to applicants established for less than one year)

Funded Projects

During the tenure of the Programme,
funding support will be granted to each enterprise for a maximum of 70 approved
projects (both Mainland Programme and FTA and IPPA Programme included), while
the funding ceiling for each approved project is HK$1,000,000 (including audit
fee)

Funding Amount

Funding would 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 approved project cost in cash (except the audit fee of approved project). The Government will provide full funding support for the audit fee of approved project, capped at HK$10,000 per audit which will be counted towards the cumulative funding ceiling per enterprise. The total cumulative funding ceiling per enterprise under the Mainland and the FTA and IPPA Programmes is HK$7,000,000 (including audit fee), while the funding ceiling for each approved project is HK$1,000,000 (including audit fee)

Type of Projects

Branding,
Website/App development,
Marketing strategy and research, sales and distribution development,
Recruiting additional manpower,
Procuring/leasing machinery/ equipment/moulds,
Social media brand building and development, e.g. publish advertisements on Weibo, Youku, etc.,
Exhibitions and roadshow activities

Scope of Funding

(Applicable to both the Mainland and signed Free Trade Agreements (“FTAs”))

Project MeasuresBudget and Subsidy Caps
The relevant operating costs for setting up a new business entity in the Mainland, including business registration or operating licence fees, rental/renovation expenses, utility expenses and the expenses for engaging professional services for setting up the new business entityShould not exceed 20% of the total budgeted expenditure for the project

The costs for recruiting additional manpower directly incurred for implementing the project (including salary and related incidental costs)

(Only the salary of employee(s) newly recruited for new post(s) established for the purpose of the project would be funded)

Should not exceed 50% of the total budgeted expenditure for the project
The costs of procuring or leasing of additional machinery/ equipment (including moulds for new products and computer software) specially and essentially for implementing the project as well as the related incidental costsShould not exceed 70% of the total budgeted expenditure for the project
The direct costs for producing/procuring samples/prototypes for development/demonstration purpose under the projectShould not exceed 30% of the total budgeted expenditure of the projec
Advertising costs directly related to the projectShould not exceed 50% of the total budgeted expenditure for the project
Travelling and accommodation expenses which are directly linked to the specific event/activity covered by the projectShould not exceed 20% of the total budgeted expenditure for the project
Enhancement of the applicant’s company website directly related to the projectCapped at HK$100,000 per application
Development or improvement of mobile applications (apps) for promotional purposeShould not exceed 50% of the total budgeted expenditure for the project
Patent/trademark/design/utility model registration directly related to the project(s)Maximum cumulative amount of funding is HK$600,000 per enterprise
External audit fees for approved projects

Capped at HK$10,000 per audit

Included in funding ceiling
Application Procedure

Take around 8 weeks

Government fund audit

The government has launched various financial programs to support and help Hong Kong entrepreneurs improve their technological skills, value-added capabilities of local economic activities, productivity and competitiveness, and to encourage more new ideas into their business. According to government law, it requires an independent auditor holding a Hong Kong Certified Public Accountant license to prepare an audited statement of income and expenditure for the entire project, detailing all relevant project expenditures where allowed funds exceed $50,000. Technology Vouchers Programme are also available to cover this audit fees. We could refer an accountant to complete the audit reports required to obtain funding, and we assist businesses to fulfil the requirements and standards set forth by the TVP. If you would like more details about the programs, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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