Chairman's Desk
An Enduring Vision for the Future

Recent years have seen gigantic leaps in the development and application of technology, from the Internet of Things and big data to blockchain and AI. As the global centre of economic gravity slowly tilts from West to East, emerging Asian economies are investing heavily in technology, and Hong Kong is leading the way as it strives to become a regional I&T hub.

Hong Kong is already blessed with an excellent environment for start-ups to incubate and flourish, thanks to a simple and low tax system, free economy and its status as a global financial centre. Add to this the world-class universities which call the city their home and provide an excellent R&D base for the pursuit of scientific and technological advancement. 

Last month, the Government-led Hong Kong Investment Corporation (HKIC), which is investing in start-ups, signed an agreement with SmartMore, an AI unicorn that is an excellent example of a Hong Kong success story. The company will open an academy to train professionals in AI, help to boost the city’s tech ecosystem, and list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) when it goes public. In fact, as more start-ups grow and make Hong Kong their base, they should be encouraged to consider listing on HKEX. 

These exciting developments come on the back of the comprehensive strategies put forth in the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Development Blueprint two years ago, with support from the Mainland. Adding impetus to the strong I&T push is the establishment of a New Industrialization Development Centre, supported by the HK$10 billion New Industrialization Acceleration Scheme to help top innovators in sustainable smart manufacturing enhance industries in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. This buttresses Chief Executive John Lee’s promise to transform Hong Kong into a cross-boundary science and technology hub by 2035, hinging on the city’s strategic role as a super-connector between China and the world. 

One of the challenges hindering growth is the talent shortage. While the authorities are making every effort to close these gaps with targeted employment schemes, further widening exchanges via collaborative platforms with R&D and technology teams from overseas and the Mainland would go a long way to boost the sector. Local university students can also be encouraged to seek careers in I&T and should be made aware of the sector’s promising future in Hong Kong. 

Investment in the I&T sector will encourage new industries in Hong Kong, promote economic diversification and growth, and generate employment opportunities. Amid geopolitical uncertainties, intense global competition for talent and the race for state-of-the-art technology, we must work to promote Hong Kong as a leading I&T hub for people to live and work, and as a place where a single good idea can be transformed into an enduring commercial success.

Agnes Chan
[email protected]

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