More I&T initiatives ahead

March 12, 2019

Financial Secretary Paul Chan

Over these last three decades, Hong Kong has thrived as well, transforming from a regional manufacturing hub into a leading global financial and logistics centre.


Over the past few years, we have also been emerging as a regional innovation and technology hub.


Since the establishment of the Innovation & Technology Bureau in November 2015, the Government has committed about $130 billion towards I&T initiatives and programmes. And we're just getting going.


Consider for example, the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong. Since the document's release in December 2017, we have been working on more than 70 initiatives outlined in the blueprint.


We are, I'm pleased to note, making good progress, particularly in the digital transformation of Hong Kong. Next year we will launch an electronic identity (eID) programme for all Hong Kong residents. The eID will serve as a single digital authentication, enabling individuals to conduct government and commercial transactions online, simply, conveniently and securely.


Down the digital road, eID will promote the development of such emerging sectors as e-commerce, digital trade and online payment.


Open data is pivotal to the realisation of the smart city. Under the new open-data policy, government bureaus and departments will release data through our open data portal to be used freely by the public, unless of course, there are valid reasons not to; say, to protect privacy. The number of open datasets will increase to nearly 4,000 by the end of this year from about 3,300 now.


By mid-year, we will also begin to install smart lampposts in select areas. Equipped with sensors and Internet of Things devices, they will capture traffic, weather and other real-time city data for analysis and better city management. Such data will also be open to the public free of charge.


And there's much more innovation and technology on the way. The Smart Government Innovation Lab will be launched in April to strengthen co-ordination and promotion of the use of I&T products and solutions in the Government. Through the lab, local small and medium enterprises and start-ups will be invited to submit proposals for I&T applications and products for different public services.


Financial Secretary Paul Chan gave these remarks at the GS1 HK 30th Anniversary Dinner on March 12.

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