Hong Kong sets sights on innovation and technology
The government has set aside $10b to enrich the I&T ecosystem.
The Hong Kong government is aiming to play a central role in the rise of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as an international innovation and technology hub.
In a press release, Financial Secretary Paul Chan gave updates on what the city is doing to achieve this goal.
“First, our research and development (R&D) infrastructure and capabilities have continued to expand. Take the InnoHK Research Clusters at the Hong Kong Science Park as an example. To date, they have attracted more than 30 world-class universities and research institutes. They are working with our local universities - the University of Hong Kong included, of course - and have set up 28 research laboratories in healthcare technologies, artificial intelligence and robotics,” Chan said.
Chan also said the Northern Metropolis will accelerate collaboration with sister cities in the GBA, particularly in Shenzhen.
“The San Tin Technopole will rise from the Northern Metropolis, forming an I&T cluster of about 240 hectares in San Tin and Lok Ma Chau. Together with the 300-hectare I&T zone on the Shenzhen side, the resulting Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation & Technology Park will feature a "one zone, two parks" development, combining Hong Kong's R&D strengths and Shenzhen's strong capabilities in commercialisation and advanced manufacturing. The Park is destined to become a world-class I&T hub in the bay area,” Chan said.
Chan also mentioned the $10b in this year’s budget that was set aside to attract talent in the life and health technology sector as well as to provide hardware, clinical trials and data application support to research institutions to enhance their capacity and capability in this field.
Additionally, another $10b was also set aside to the Hong Kong Growth Portfolio to further enrich the I&T ecosystem. The portfolio is for investment in projects that would enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong in the longer term. Meanwhile, $5b is for setting up a Strategic Tech Fund to invest in technology enterprises that are of strategic value to Hong Kong. Another $5bn would be used to set up a GBA Investment Fund, focusing on investment opportunities in the bay area that would benefit Hong Kong.
The update comes amidst escalating tensions in China-US relations that Chan said will inevitably affect Hong Kong.
“Today, that they may cast shadows on our economic positioning and even cause disruptions is all the more probable. We must recognise that in a world that is experiencing a once-in-a-century great global change, life could be very challenging. But change also creates opportunities. Our response is to embrace it, and edge our way forward carefully seeking to turn risks into opportunities,” Chan said.