CEO Comments
Nourishing the Next Generation of Hong Kong Unicorns

At the Chamber’s Business Summit last month, we heard speakers from maverick upstarts and stalwart businesses alike explain how they were making use of technology to provide the best services and products to their customers.

Most of these companies were created right here in Hong Kong. We are very happy to be able to boast that we have such strong representation among innovators from the technology world. 

Start-ups like Lalamove are using the latest technology to provide a service – in this case intra-city delivery – that is faster, easier and more efficient than ever before. At the other end of the spectrum, some of Hong Kong’s biggest and most well-established companies are also adopting new technologies and working with innovators to stay ahead. Power company CLP, for example, uses drones to check hard-to-reach areas in its networks.

The success of Hong Kong’s homegrown start-ups shows that it is certainly possible for trailblazing companies to emerge from this city. We are not short of bright, hardworking talent. 

But we believe we could still do better. Despite such success stories, it is often said that Hong Kong is lagging some of its rivals in the region when it comes to innovation.

To catch up, more support from the Government would help. This is a topic we have brought up in our advocacy work in the past, as we believe that the Government should take a more active role in promoting and funding activities in the technology and other innovative sectors. 

This has proven to be a successful strategy in places like South Korea and Germany. We learned at a recent Chamber seminar that the Israeli Government has been investing in the country’s technology sector since the 1990s. Today, this small nation, with a population of under 9 million, is a world leader in certain areas of technology. 

We also see a role for the Government in helping to address the manpower bottleneck in the technology sector. We need policies that will allow Hong Kong to attract the highly skilled talent that we need from around the world. 

We appreciate the investments that the Government has made so far, particularly the additional $50 billion earmarked in last year’s Budget. In 2019, we hope for further investments, as well as more concrete, targeted policies to boost this crucial sector.

SenseTime, whose Esther Wong spoke at our Business Summit, is famously the first unicorn to emerge from the Hong Kong Science Park. We hope to see many more Hong Kong unicorns in the near future, but we need to create the environment for them to flourish.