Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (BUD Fund)
To help Hong Kong enterprises capture the opportunities arising from the National 12th Five-Year Plan, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government set up a "Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales" (the BUD Fund) in June 2012. The Fund originally aimed to provide funding support to assist non-listed Hong Kong enterprises in exploring and developing the Mainland market through developing brands, upgrading and restructuring operations, and promoting domestic sales in the Mainland. In August 2018, the geographical coverage of the funding support was extended to include the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) markets.
To strengthen support to enterprises in exploring new markets and new business opportunities, the Trade and Industry Department (TID) rolled out the following enhancement measures to the BUD Fund in January 2020:
- the scope of the ASEAN Programme was expanded to become the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Programme, under which the geographical coverage was extended from the 10 ASEAN countries to cover other economies with which Hong Kong has signed FTAs, including New Zealand, the four member states of the European Free Trade Association, Chile, Macao, Georgia and Australia;
- the cumulative funding ceiling for each enterprise was doubled from $2 million to $4 million, including increasing the cumulative funding ceiling under the Mainland Programme from $1 million to $2 million, and that under the FTA Programme from $1 million to $2 million; and
- the ratio of initial payments was raised from 25% to up to 75% of the approved government funding.
Further enhancements to the BUD Fund have been effective since 9 April 2020, including the removal of the geographical demarcation for each enterprise in undertaking projects in the Mainland and other economies which have signed FTAs with Hong Kong ($2 million cumulative funding each). Enterprises can flexibly make use of the total funding of up to $4 million to undertake projects in the Mainland or other economies which have signed FTAs with Hong Kong. Besides, enterprises participating in virtual exhibitions organised by Government-related organisations or reputable exhibition organisers with good track records are eligible for funding support under the BUD Fund.
Online application service has been available from 30 June 2020 onwards. For details of the BUD Fund, please visit the website (https://www.bud.hkpc.org/en.html).