Regina Ip meets with electors from Insurance Subsector
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Chief Executive candidate Mrs. Regina Ip has called on the government to review the land sale mechanism and study how auctioning and tendering would influence land prices differently.

“Any means that might further stimulate the rise of housing prices or destabilize the property market should be avoided. At the same time, the government should also improve the land tendering mechanism by disclosing all tendering prices to promote market transparency; the additional market information available would reduce the developers’ tendency to price tender proposals at exorbitantly high prices that needlessly inflate land prices.”, added Mrs. Ip.

She made the comments during an hour-long discussion with Legislative Councillor Mr. Paul Chan and 18 Election Committee members representing the insurance industry.

“Land and labour shortages are the barriers to Hong Kong’s development that must be overcome. The results of the government’s efforts to identify developable land in recent years have so far been limited. I agree with the Chief Executive that we might need to consider developing some of the country park land. In my platform, I have suggested the next administration should study the feasibility of developing Green Belt sites, wooded sites and country parks near urban areas.”

Insurers at the meeting also discussed the problem of talent shortages, which they attributed to the low public image of the industry and the absence of dedicated degree programs in local universities. They suggested higher education institutions should consider offering major programs in insurance and the government should help promote the industry’s professional image. The suggestions were agreed by Mrs. Ip.

She also introduced her proposal for solving the problems with the MPF offsetting mechanism. “Before finding ways to replace the long service and severance pays, the government should pay back part of the offset benefits to employees. This would benefit employees without putting extra burden on employers. It is a solution that the government can afford and is better than the government’s current proposal.”

The industry representatives welcomed Mrs. Ip’s proposal. They continued to discuss industry-specific issues ranging from tax benefits for reinsurance companies and products to conditions for Hong Kong to become a regional insurance centre. Mrs. Ip replied, “I agree that in addition to the business environment and the rule of laws, matters such as air quality and availability of international school places are crucial to talent attraction. The next administration must work on these areas to attract foreign talents for various industries.”

“I know that the government has provided some financial incentives for the insurance sector, for example the tax benefits for captive insurance businesses. However, after listening to the industry
representatives, I understand that the current measures are inadequate. We need to find more effective ways to support the industry.” Mrs. Ip added.

At the end of the meeting, Mrs. Ip thanked Hon Paul Chan for arranging the meeting and the participants for providing valuable insights. She promised to enrich the platform.

Mrs. Ip and her team will continue to meet various parties and organisations to explain her policy platform and seek support.

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