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HK focused on I&T development

November 03, 2017

Financial Secretary Paul Chan

One important pillar of Hong Kong's future and economic growth will be from innovation and technology. This is the reason why we established the Innovation & Technology Bureau in November 2015, and why we have injected $18 billion since then to further enhance our technology infrastructure, to encourage SMEs to make wider use of technology, to promote mid-stream research and development, to further improve our ecosystem for startups through venture capital funding and other support, and, last but not least, to nurture and attract talent of the right calibre.


Our new Data Technology Hub and the Advanced Manufacturing Centre in Tseung Kwan O, as well as the expansion of the Science Park, will be completed from 2020 onwards. Hong Kong and Shenzhen are also collaborating to develop an Innovation & Technology Park for I&T enterprises, universities and research institutions from Hong Kong, overseas and the Mainland. The 87-hectare park will be the largest innovation and technology project in Hong Kong's history.


In this year's Budget, I have earmarked another $10 billion to support innovation and technology development. Tax deductions for research and development expenditures will also be significantly enhanced, as recently announced by the Chief Executive in her Policy Address. We also aim to double the domestic expenditure on R&D to about $45 billion a year, accounting for about 1.5% of our GDP, by the end of the current-term Government.


In light of our fast ageing society, and taking into consideration Hong Kong's strengths and capabilities in financial services and advanced medical research, going forward we will be focusing on four areas in the context of innovation and technology development: artificial intelligence and big data analytics, biomedicine, smart city, as well as fintech.


In particular, I am delighted that the fintech community in Hong Kong is growing very fast, with some 140 fintech-related startups operating here last year. That's up about 60% over the previous year. These fintech companies attracted about US$400 million in venture capital investment between 2014 and 2016. That all but triples what Singapore's fintech companies took in over the same period.


Innovation and technology will play a pivotal role in powering the development of a knowledge-based economy. I urge the business community - and certainly that includes my fellow accountants - to capitalise on these opportunities.


Financial Secretary Paul Chan gave these remarks at the opening ceremony of the CPA Congress 2017 on November 3.

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