Granting tax and land incentives to assist the development of technology and innovation-based industries has not been ruled out, according to the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology. After a meeting with the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Committee, Henry Tang Ying-yen said the government would keep an open attitude to any ideas that would stimulate the SMEs. 'Tax and land incentives are one of the measures that are worth consideration,' he said. 'The chief executive [Tung Chee-hwa] is looking for fresh ideas. We are in a very competitive business environment and we need to see to our comparative advantages in attracting investments. It is important to consider all options and we should not rule out any ideas.' Mr Tung said in February that there was no need to have an industry policy or offer tax breaks to attract investors, saying Hong Kong should instead develop its existing strengths, such as the service industry, transport and logistics. Mr Tang, a leading industrialist before he took up his post, said tax and land incentives were put up for discussion when he was in the private sector. He had raised the idea of giving double tax incentives to industrial investments on five occasions with former financial secretaries when he was chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries. Chairman of the SMEs committee Chan Wing-kee welcomed the idea, saying tax and land incentives would help attract investment and solve the unemployment problem. Separately, Mr Tang said the government would continue to explore ways to help SMEs and traditional industries. Many SMEs have complained of difficulties in getting bank loans to solve cash-flow problems.