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21-11-2019

Opening Speech by Mr. Victor Lam, JP, Government Chief Information Officer at the “Hong Kong Reception at Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Awards Vietnam 2019” (with photos)

Mr Singh (Mr Stan Singh, Chairperson of APICTA 2019), Tina (Ms Tina Phan, Director, Indochina, Hong Kong Trade Development Council), Ted (Ir Ted Suen, President of Hong Kong Computer Society and Head of Hong Kong Delegation to APICTA 2019), Distinguished Judges, Honoured Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening. My warmest welcome to you all for joining the Hong Kong Reception here in Ha Long tonight.

First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the Hong Kong Computer Society for organising this event. My heartfelt thanks also goes to the Vietnamese Government and the Organising Committee for your warm hospitality and great efforts in hosting the regional ICT contest at this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As with many other economies of the world, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is highly committed to driving the development of innovation and technology (I&T). Over the past two years or so, the HKSAR Government has set aside more than HK$100 billion (US$12.8 billion) for various programmes, including advancing the research and development (R&D) capabilities of our universities, nurturing technology talent, building and strengthening I&T infrastructure, supporting enterprises and nourishing entrepreneurship, to name just a few.

We are glad that the I&T ecosystem is thriving with vigour in Hong Kong. A recent survey on our start-up community reveals a very encouraging development in our booming I&T ecosystem. The number of start-ups has increased to more than 3 100, which is a significant growth of 40 percent during the two-year period between 2017 and 2019. In fact, four years ago, Hong Kong had no unicorn start-ups at all. Today, we have eight of them, and I believe more will be coming.

The two flagship technology infrastructures, the Hong Kong Science Park and the Cyberport, are strong partners of the Government in promoting I&T and nurturing start-ups. They provide a full range of support to the start-ups, ranging from providing office facilities and offering funding support to organising mentorship programme, throughout the entire journey from conceptualisation to commercialisation.

The Hong Kong Science Park has nurtured over 620 incubatees and is now home to 700 technology companies and over 8 300 R&D practitioners. To further enhance its R&D capabilities, the Government has provided HK$10 billion (US$1.3 billion) in setting up two research clusters, one on healthcare, and the other on artificial intelligence and robotics technologies. Stage 1 of the Science Park Expansion Programme has been completed, providing additional floor space to cater for the increasing demand from start-ups and technology companies.

As for the Cyberport, it has a digital community of 1 400 companies. It plays a key role in fostering the growth of major technology applications such as e-sports and FinTech. The large FinTech community of 350 companies has contributed to the fervid development of FinTech in Hong Kong. This year, we have earmarked HK$5.5 billion (US$705 million) for supporting its expansion.

With years of efforts, the two technology hubs have now become cradles of innovation and excellence. Many ICT applications pioneered by their tenants and incubatees have won local and international recognitions and awards, including those of the APICTA.

The APICTA Awards is not only a renowned awards programme but also a great platform for ICT talent to exchange ideas and forge new partnerships. I truly believe our friendships will last and facilitate some exciting joint ventures in the future.

For all those who are looking for the next big innovation, the booming I&T ecosystem in Hong Kong is where you should set your sight on. Being an international and pro-business city situated at a strategic location, Hong Kong is the ideal springboard for companies to enter the Mainland market and reap the fullest benefits of the vast opportunities ahead.

For the moment, please do relish this joyous occasion and mingle with friends both new and old. I wish you all an enjoyable evening and a very rewarding experience in Ha Long. Thank you.

- ENDS -