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4 actions HK can take to grow its I&T industry

Under the HK I&T Development Blueprint, the city plans to grow the industry by 5% in 5 years.

There are four key actions that Hong Kong could take to achieve its targets under its I&T Development Blueprint, according to Colliers.

Under the blueprint, Hong Kong plans to grow its I&T industry by 50% in five years and onefold in 10 years.

To achieve this, the first step Hong Kong can do is to streamline procedures for the transformation of primitive land into I&T facilities, especially in the Northern Metropolis.

“Streamlining development-related statutory procedures such as land exchange, town planning and land resumption will expedite the supply pipeline, including projects that are currently under the planning/consultation stage for the remaining batches of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park and the San Tin Technopole,” said Dorothy Chow, executive director, Valuation & Advisory Services, Asia at Colliers Hong Kong.

A more proactive approach to land supply for I&T uses and related developments will also help Hong Kong achieve its goals, adding that the city needs to increase the supply of I&T property by twofold over the next few years to realise the development targets set out in the blueprint.

“Only about 3.3 million sq. ft. GFA of new I&T property is expected to come on stream in the next three to five years, which results in a shortage of over 5 million sq. ft. A more proactive approach on land supply for I&T uses and related developments, including housing for additional international I&T practitioners and other ancillary facilities, is needed to enhance Hong Kong’s competitive position,” said Dominic Chung,  Executive Director, Asia, Capital Markets & Investment Services.

Bill Chan, head of Industrial Services at Colliers Hong Kong, also underscored the need for industry-protective measures, including a  concessionary land price policy.

Chan said the government should refer to the terms and conditions for the sale and rental of I&T-allocated property in Singapore and Shenzhen as operational overhead is one of the key factors for I&T firms when deciding on a location.

“On the other hand, to balance the public interest in land resources and the effectiveness of supporting I&T development, we suggest the government consider a concessionary land price policy with a shorter lease term and other industry-protective measures such as tenant admission criteria and rental policies,” Chan added.

Lastly, Hong Kong should offer greater incentives to I&T talent and firms.

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