I&T gets $50b boost

February 28, 2018

Financial Secretary Paul Chan has set aside $50 billion to enhance Hong Kong's innovation and technology industry.


Delivering his 2018-19 Budget today, Mr Chan said I&T will be an economic driver in the future and Hong Kong must optimise its resources and focus on developing its strengths.


"To shine in the fierce I&T race amidst keen competition, Hong Kong must optimise its resources by focusing on developing its areas of strength, namely biotechnology, artificial intelligence, smart city and financial technologies.


"To achieve results, our targeted efforts must be underpinned by adequate resources. In last year's Budget, I reserved $10 billion for supporting I&T development. This year, I will set aside an additional $50 billion."


Of this amount, $20 billion will be used on the first phase of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation & Technology Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop and $10 billion will go to the Innovation & Technology Fund.


Another $10 billion will be earmarked for the establishment of two research clusters on healthcare technologies and on artificial intelligence and robotics technologies to attract the world's top scientific research firms.


The remaining $10 billion will be given to the Science Park to reinforce it as Hong Kong's flagship technology infrastructure.


Mr Chan also said $200 million will be allocated to Cyberport to enhance support for startups and another $100 million will promote the development of e-sports, which has been developing rapidly with tremendous potential.


He added the Government will relax the eligibility criteria for the Technology Voucher Programme so more medium enterprises and startups can benefit from it.

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