The Hong Kong government has proposed the abolition of duties for all alcoholic drinks, with the exception of spirits.

The move, which is set to have immediate effect, was announced by Financial Secretary John Tsang today (27 February), and would cost Hong Kong's government in the region of HK$560m (US$71.9m) per year.

Existing duty on alcohol - with the exception of spirits - along with related administrative controls were proving to be "major obstacles" to the development of trading and distribution businesses in the special administrative region of China.

Hong Kong's government is also looking to remove the related administrative controls after amending relevant laws, so as to facilitate increased import, export and storage of alcoholic beverages in Hong Kong.