Legco Viewpoint
How to Make Hong Kong Smarter?

The SAR Government has been actively developing Hong Kong into a smart city in recent years. With the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong released in December, the Government is determined to enhance the effectiveness of city management through innovation and technology (I&T). An urgent task for the Government now is to roll out supporting policy measures, including promoting the popularization of the 5G network and taking forward the Lok Ma Chau Loop project to attract technicians, engineers and scientists from around the world. This will give a further boost to local I&T development to help Hong Kong become smarter.

In fact, Hong Kong is well-equipped with key elements for developing the I&T industry, from a business-friendly environment and sound legal system to a mature capital market and global network. If the city can continue to strengthen its communication network and scientific research facilities, it will usher in a new round of opportunities for the local community.

An effective communication network is fundamental to encouraging I&T development and promoting a smart city. As many countries worldwide are pressing ahead with the development of 5G, we need the cooperation and support of the Government to ensure wide adoption of the technology. 

I hope the Government will deliberate on spectrum prices, supply and management, with a view to opening more spectrum for mobile use. This will help to maintain the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s telecommunications sector and thus create the prerequisites favorable to the growth of a smart city.

On the other hand, the development of the Lok Ma Chau Loop will provide a better platform for Hong Kong enterprises to develop I&T business. The Public Works Subcommittee of the Legislative Council previously approved $780 million in funding for advance engineering works at the Lok Ma Chau Loop. The Government should commence construction as soon as possible to enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness in I&T. 

The Government could also encourage cooperation between local and non-local tertiary institutions. For instance, cooperation with our neighbor Shenzhen would give full play to the I&T synergy between the two cities, providing a larger stage for young people.

The development of a smart city requires close collaboration between a number of factors. To help I&T activities flourish in Hong Kong, the Government should formulate a comprehensive plan and support measures in areas such as network connectivity and resource allocation. When dealing with this ever-evolving topic, I hope that the Chief Executive can adopt a new mindset and step up the pace to build Hong Kong into a smarter city.