Following is the speech by the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Professor Sun Dong, at the International Bay Area Summit 2023 today (February 21):
Professor Teng Jinguang (President of Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences (HKAES) and Chairman of the Organizing Committee), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning. It is my honour to join you all today at the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences International Bay Area Summit. It gives me immense joy to meet eminent engineers of various disciplines as well as those who are supportive and interested in the innovation and technology (I&T) development in Hong Kong at this very special occasion.
First of all, I would like to express my appreciation to HKAES for their exemplary work and continual effort in promoting the application and advancement of science and technology in the entire field of engineering for the benefit of the society.
Among all, the Summit today provides an excellent platform for experts and industry practitioners to exchange views on the latest development of innovation and technology.
Using science and technology to drive innovation and provide impetus for advancement has become a key trend of global development nowadays.
Just a few months ago, as President Teng mentioned, we launched the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Development Blueprint to spearhead efforts to move full steam towards the vision of an international I&T centre along four broad development directions and eight key strategies.
To echo today’s theme, let me share with you the role of Hong Kong in fostering the I&T development in the Greater Bay Area and the opportunities therein, over the next few minutes.
Our country has all along been providing us with staunch support to the I&T development. Each city in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) has its own edge. Hong Kong is the most international city in the region with robust capability in R&D (research and development), an efficient and fair business environment, and well-established legal and intellectual property rights systems.
As regards Guangdong Province, Guangzhou and Dongguan are well known for their advanced manufacturing, while transformation and realisation of R&D outcomes is the strength of Shenzhen.
Indeed, one of our major strategies mentioned in the Blueprint is “to deepen I&T co-operation with the Mainland for better integration into the overall national development”.
Advantages of GBA cities are different yet complementary, thereby producing a synergy effect in the I&T development in the Bay Area.
The 14th Five-Year Plan expressively indicates support to Hong Kong as an international I&T centre, and for the first time includes the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Loop as one of the major platforms of co-operation in the GBA. The Government is now taking forward the development of the 87-hectare Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop in full swing.
The primary goal is to complete the first batch of buildings under the Batch 1 development of the Park in phases from the end of 2024 onwards. Together with the Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Zone, Hong Kong and Shenzhen can work together to pool local, Mainland and overseas talent.
On the basis of “One Zone, Two Parks”, we are exploring with relevant Mainland authorities on more measures facilitating the effective cross-boundary flow of various innovation elements, including capital, data and people.
Besides, we will also expedite the development of the San Tin Technopole in the Northern Metropolis to set aside more land to support the I&T development of Hong Kong.
Furthermore, a Shenzhen branch of Hong Kong Science Park will be built in the Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Zone, and the GBA InnoAcademy and the GBA InnoExpress have been established which help upskill technology talent from various sectors and nurture tech-related start-ups to vast opportunities available in the GBA respectively.
Nansha of Guangzhou and Qianhai of Shenzhen are another two important co-operation platforms in the GBA. Hong Kong is stepping up collaboration with Nansha on scientific research.
One of the signature examples is the establishment of the HKUST (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) (Guangzhou) in Nansha last year which positions itself as an international elite research university.
In regard to Qianhai, Hong Kong, with its strengths in high-end professional services, will continuously collaborate with Qianhai to propel the innovative development of modern service industries including technological services and emerging industries.
As I have said on many occasions, the coming five to 10 years is the golden era of Hong Kong’s I&T development. Following the full resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland, connections, exchanges and co-operation among GBA cities as well as with the rest of the world will be getting closer and stronger.
Hong Kong will continue to capitalise on the unique advantages of its strategic location, talent, technology development blessed with staunch support from the motherland, with a view to building Hong Kong into an international I&T centre.
Together with your support and contribution, I firmly believe that the I&T ecosystem in Hong Kong, and the Greater Bay Area in general, will become increasingly vibrant with breakthroughs in various aspects.
As you know, the 2023 Budget Speech will be made by the Financial Secretary tomorrow (February 22). We all expect that more measures will be announced to implement some important strategies as proposed in the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Development Blueprint last year.
I look forward to shaking hands with you all and moving forward.
In closing, may I wish this Summit every success and all of you an enlightening experience today.
Sources: THX News & The Hong Kong Government.