image image

Greater Bay Area

Innovation, technology will give Hong Kong economy a boost and help develop high-end industry, senior officials say

Financial Secretary Paul Chan and tech chief Nicholas Yang say Hong Kong can profit from Greater Bay Area scheme as research institutes set up in city

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 August, 2018, 3:43pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 August, 2018, 10:53pm

Innovation and technology (I&T) will become profitable in Hong Kong and drive the city’s bid to develop high-end manufacturing, according to two senior officials.

Both Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po and Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiung, writing on their separate official blogs on Sunday, said Hong Kong’s economy and the technology sector can benefit from Beijing’s “Greater Bay Area” project, which aims at turning the city and 10 neighbours in southern China into a financial and innovation hub rivalling Silicon Valley.

Hong Kong’s innovation and technology sector is set to get a significant boost from a slew of initiatives announced in Beijing on Wednesday, including the setting-up of two new state-backed laboratories in the city’s Science Park and a cross-border cooperation arrangement to be signed later.

The measures were unveiled after an unprecedented meeting in the Chinese capital attended by Vice-Premier Han Zheng and Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

Yang said the two new state-backed laboratories, together with foreign research institutions – such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – which would set foot in Hong Kong, showed researchers from mainland China and abroad “are full of confidence in Hong Kong’s I&T ecosystem”.

New science park chairman looks to build up management and spruce up site

“There used to be a common saying in Hong Kong: ‘The hi-tech causes trouble, only the low-tech is profitable’ … [But now] the hi-tech can absolutely be profitable too,” Yang wrote.

Chan also mentioned research institutes in his blog. But instead of focusing on the ones coming from across the border, he said he expects five local research and development (R&D) bodies, set up by the government in 2006, to help Hong Kong to “reindustrialise”.

They are the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel at Polytechnic University, the Automotive Parts and Accessory Systems R&D Centre at the Productivity Council, the Nano and Advanced Materials Institute at the University of Science and Technology, and the Applied Science and Technology Research Institute, and Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre, which are both at the Science Park.

Tax cuts could lure IT talent to Greater Bay Area, minister says

“[We are] developing the high value-added manufacturing industry, which is based on new technology … and doesn’t not require a lot of land,” he said.

Chan said the government would continue to support innovation and technology through building new infrastructure, and providing financial and technical support for the sector.

A key infrastructural project that authorities, including the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, have been working on is the Advanced Manufacturing Centre at Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate.

Singapore beats Hong Kong to remain top dog for fixed broadband speeds

“It will be completed in 2022 … to offer space for manufacturers which use smart manufacturing technology,” Chan revealed.

He added the government would also continue to help traditional manufacturers to upgrade, and make use of new technology in improving quality and efficiency.