TitleOpening Remarks by Mr. Daniel Lai, BBS, JP, Government Chief Information Officer, at the HKIE ICT Conference "Technologies for a Smart City"
Mr. Chan (Fuk Cheung), Mr. (Victor CK) Cheung , Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good Morning! It gives me great pleasure to join today's conference which has a timely and thought-provoking theme: "Technologies for a Smart City". First of all, I would like to thank the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers in hosting this meaningful event, which provides us with a valuable opportunity for sharing and exchange of ideas and know-how.
Hong Kong as a Digital Hub in the Region
The development of ICT has been advancing in an incredible pace since the last few years of the 20th century. Striving to be an information technology hub in the Asia Pacific region, Hong Kong has been witnessing, participating in, and reaping the benefits of such marvelous development on the fast lane over the past one and a half decades.
With the "Digital 21" Strategy, the HKSAR Government sets out the vision of developing Hong Kong into a leading digital city. We ranked seventh in the world and the first in the Asia Pacific region in the Digital Economy ratings 2010 published by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Our mobile penetration rate is 210% and is amongst highest in the world. Over half of our mobile phone users use smart phones. We also boast the world's largest internet bandwidth of 780 kilobytes per second per user according to the Global Information Technology Report 2012.
Hong Kong is favourably positioned as an Asia Pacific regional data centre hub and attracts the development of high-tier data centers. According to the Data Centre Risk Index jointly published by two international consulting firms, Hong Kong is the best place in Asia for setting up data centres, and ranks 4th in the world. The Asia Cloud Computing Association has also ranked Hong Kong the second in the Asia Pacific Region in cloud readiness in 2011. All these prove that Hong Kong has built a strong base to move forward as the digital hub in the region.
Enabling the Next Generation of Public Services
Roadmap of Government's Cloud Computing Strategy
On public services perspective, the Government has also been progressive to make our service to the community "smarter" and "faster". Our work is a synergy of ICT and public service with a clear user-centric vision and strategy for actions. The Government has formulated a Pan-government IT strategy, putting Cloud computing on top of our agenda. The plan is to implement the Government Private Cloud to offer common IT services, such as e-Procurement and Electronic Information Management in the coming years. We are also exploring the concept of an industry cloud platform to create business opportunities for local software companies and consulting firms. Efforts to foster ICT adoption among SMEs are sustained continuously with the various rounds of Sector-Specific Programmes.
Mobile and Personalized Services on demand
Entering into the mobile and smartphone era, the Government also drives to have more personalised and mobile IT services for the IT savvy citizens, basing on citizen-centric e-government services to cater for individual needs and preferences ubiquitously. We built the personalised platform, "MyGovHK", to enable citizens to link their accounts to multiple services includinG eTAX, and e-Rating.
Availability of Public Sector Information
To keep up with the changing needs of the information age, the Government strived to embark on a new adventure by opening public sector information in 2011, with the launch of a pilot scheme. Under the virtual platform, members of the public can freely download geo-referenced data for public facilities and real-time traffic data from our dedicated portal: the Data.One Website. Leveraging on creative innovations of mobile Apps, such as "Tellme@1823" and "HKeTransport"; with our plans to make more data-sets, such as news, weather and pollution index available to the public, I am sure that we will see more value-added applications in the future.
Building an inclusive, knowledge-based Society
Promoting Digital Inclusion
The government is committed to building up a digital Hong Kong shared by all members of the community. Up to March, 2012, 400 government premises are equipped with free wireless Internet access. The Next Generation of more advanced GovWiFi programme will be launched to 40 new premises for an even wider coverage. Our mobile netizens include teenagers, elderly, the IT savvy as well as the less advantaged groups. The Government will continue to make our websites and contents accessible to all and promote compliance with the latest W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
The Government also encourages ICT adoption to all walks of life via the district Cyber Centre Scheme, Elderly Portal, Youth Portal, GovHK, and to tap on the industry wisdom, professional involvement and private sector resources on mobile Apps and ICT projects. We hope that the vision to help everyone assimilate into the age of "Go Wireless, Stay Connected" living is not far.
In today's world, ICT technologies have become an integral part of our daily living. Various innovative and personalised tools, such as Wi-Fi, mobile computing with GPS positioning and tracking: QR code; Mobile TV: podcasts, mobile Apps, and social networking applications have assumed their rightful parts and become a necessity to many in our life. With them, we are enjoying touchable convenience, time-saving, immediate and on-demand information, as well as real time networking platforms - ICT innovations are endless and without boundaries.
Finally, we should not forget to mention the importance of the support of professional bodies, such as HKIE, in working hand-in-hand for the same vision of promoting advanced technology and innovations. Today's conference is a good start for facilitating the exchange of ICT knowledge and ideas. We will all be motivated to keep abreast of becoming smarter and to contribute to a smarter Hong Kong. I hope you will find this Conference a fruitful event and enjoy!