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29-11-2023

Welcome Remarks by Ir Tony Wong, JP, Government Chief Information Officer, at the “Alibaba Cloud Summit Hong Kong 2023” (with photos)

Leo (Mr Leo LIU, Vice President, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence International), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning! It gives me great pleasure to be here at the Alibaba Cloud Summit Hong Kong 2023. I am delighted to see many of the business leaders and technology experts gather at the Summit today, sharing new ideas and latest market trends in cloud computing and other cutting-edge technologies.

Cloud technology is well recognised as the powerhouse that propels the development of digital economy. According to Gartner’s latest market forecast, the worldwide spending on cloud services is expected to grow by 20% next year (2024) close to USD 680 billion. The advantages of cloud technology in reducing costs, enhancing operational efficiency and scalability, improving data security, and facilitating data storage and advanced technology collaboration will undoubtedly continue to thrive in the years to come. In Hong Kong, we have a high demand for cloud-based services which is exemplified by the strong presence of global leading cloud service providers. The adoption of cloud technology is also key to the digital transformation of various sectors, especially the finance, retail, hospitality and logistics industries.

The Hong Kong SAR Government is well aware of the importance of cloud technology, and my Office has put in place the Government Cloud Infrastructure Services to facilitate and accelerate the digital transformation of public services with cloud technology, thereby improving operational efficiency and enhancing user experience. Government Cloud has provided a reliable and scalable platform for government departments to develop and deliver digital services in a rapid, secure and agile manner, which has greatly expedited their delivery of public services for meeting various policy goals. To date, Government Cloud has been supporting over 440 digital government applications.

To enable the public to use digital government services more conveniently and safely, the Government has also launched the digital identity infrastructure, the iAM Smart platform, which allows Hong Kong residents to use a single digital identity for authentication and conducting online transactions. The number of registered users for iAM Smart has now reached 2.4 million. Currently, some 300 online services provided by public and private organisations are accessible through iAM Smart. Going forward, we aim to turn all government services online by 2024 and provide one-stop digital service by full adoption of iAM Smart by 2025, with a view to realising “single portal for online government services” (「一網通辦」).

As you may notice, a registration counter has been set up at the entrance of the hall to assist you in registering iAM Smart. Thanks to the support of the Summit. I encourage you to visit the booth to register iAM Smart if you are not yet a user, to enjoy the convenience brought by the mobile app.

Apart from Government Cloud and iAM Smart, the Government has also launched a number of important digital infrastructures including the Big Data Analytics Platform, the Shared Blockchain Platform, the Open Data Portal (data.gov.hk), the Common Spatial Data Infrastructure Portal (csdi.gov.hk), etc. These infrastructures have enabled government departments to adopt new technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and big data analytics more readily. Citizen-centric digital government services can also be implemented in a more efficient and cost-effective manner through the use of these central platforms.

Before I close, I wish to make an important appeal to all Hong Kong citizens attending the event today. I am sure you all are well aware of the upcoming District Council Election to be held on next Sunday, the 10th of December. It is the first large-scale territory-wide election being held after the reform of the District Councils and improving the district governance system of HKSAR, and is of particular significance and related to the well-being of citizens and good governance of the HKSAR. Remember to cast your vote, and also encourage your family and friends to cast their votes for a better community.

Cloud is a catalyst for business transformation and an important technology that enables businesses to deliver robust and reliable services. I believe today's Summit will bring many insights to all of us on the latest developments and applications of cloud and other innovative technologies. I wish the Summit a great success and all of you a very fruitful experience today. Thank you!

- ENDS -