Signature Campaign in response to the Pilot Technology Voucher Programme
Organiser: Hon Charles Mok, Legislative Councillor (Information Technology)
The latest Budget announced a $500-million voucher programme for SMEs to procure technological services and solutions. It is welcoming that with the relentless efforts from the ICT sector and myself, the government has finally adopted the suggestion to release such a subsidy that has long been implemented in many countries and was proven effective in stimulating the demand in local ICT markets, creating more job and business opportunities, and increasing the competitiveness in those places.
However, it is not uncommon that the red tape of many government subsidy programmes have deterred applications. There are strong suggestions in the sector that for the upcoming voucher programme to be attractive, the vetting process should be streamlined, and there should be more options available for greater selection of services and solutions.
To ensure the voucher programme will be properly designed and truly beneficial to users and service providers, I sincerely invite the ICT sector and SMEs to participate in this signature campaign and voice the following demands to the government:
– Requirements for service providers should not be restrictive in order to allow maximum participation of local ICT companies;
– The government should study the experience of other countries with similar subsidies to determine the scope of the voucher programme in order for SMEs to have more selection;
– The application limit and duration of each subsidy should be made flexible and allow multiple usage;
– Application process should be streamlined and red tapes should be avoided, the government can consider enabling online application; and
– The government should adhere to transparency and release the information and data regarding the voucher programme from time to time.
Participants can choose to take part in this campaign as individuals or as organisations. Please kindly note that the deadline of this signature campaign will be on May 13.