Dr Charles YEUNG (Chairman of the 48th, 49th terms of office) September 2015
Hong Kong not only has the fundamental elements and support services for promoting the development of technology, innovation and creativity, but also is oriented towards the huge markets of the Mainland, Greater China and Asia.
As society advances, technology applications and industrial innovations have become indispensable components in promoting sustainable economic development. In this regard, Hong Kong must inject new ways of thinking and new concepts to adapt to the rapidly developing global knowledge-based economy. Specifically, Hong Kong has to invest more resources in fostering the development of creativity and innovation among our young people in order to prepare for our economy and industries to move towards a high value-added and innovative development.
Prosperous Future for Hong Kong’s Technology and Innovation Development
In recent years, the Mainland has been actively advancing its “One Belt and One Road”, “Internet+” and “Made in China 2025” strategic initiatives, which will boost the development of technology and industrial innovation in the Mainland, Greater China and Asia. Last month, the Chamber co-hosted the “Cross-Strait, Hong Kong and Macau Business Forum” with three chambers of commerce from the Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Speakers at the forum all agreed that the four places across the strait should use their unique relevant advantages proactively to tap the huge business opportunities in the fields of technology and innovation. This can be realised by capitalising on their shared Chinese culture, tradition and experience together with the support of the Internet, e-commerce and innovative technology.
In fact, Hong Kong has its own strengths in promoting the development of creativity and innovation. Hong Kong was ranked 10th in the Global Innovation Index 2014 survey, and was the only Chinese city in the top 10. As a major international financial and asset management centre, Hong Kong can provide extensive support to attract project investments and financing arrangements. Furthermore, Hong Kong’s institutes and schools have strong foundation in research and development. With the support of Hong Kong’s complete infrastructure facilities and sound rule of law, and coupled with the free movement of people, goods and information, they can provide a favourable foundation and conditions for Hong Kong’s development of technology and innovation industries.
In our view, Hong Kong not only has the fundamental elements and support services for promoting the development of technology, innovation and creativity, but also is oriented towards the huge markets of the Mainland, Greater China and Asia. What it currently lacks is a platform to effectively interconnect its various strengths. The Chamber believes the Innovation and Technology Bureau, an initiative of the HKSAR Government, is able to perform the relevant functions to actively promote multilateral exchanges and cooperation among Hong Kong’s industries, government bodies, academia and research institutes. It can coordinate policy resources, provide industrial support measures, and assist in the commercialisation and industrialisation of Hong Kong’s R&D and innovation achievements to further tap the huge business opportunities overseas and in the Mainland.
Broadening Young People’s Innovative Thinking and Horizon
Nurturing talents is the key to promote the development of technology, innovation and creativity. Hong Kong’s young people have boundless innovation and creativity. As long as there is proper guidance and assistance, they will certainly be able to realise their talents to contribute to moving Hong Kong’s economy and industries towards a high value-added and innovative development.
In fact, the HKSAR Government has always focused on encouraging Hong Kong’s young people to actively broaden their horizons and to enhance their abilities to think creatively. For example, the “Hong Kong Scholarship for Excellence Scheme”, an initiative announced in its Policy Address, will provide financial support for local students to pursue studies in world renowned universities outside Hong Kong, with a view to equipping them with the knowledge to contribute to Hong Kong upon graduation. In addition, the Budget injected another HK$400 million into the “CreateSmart Initiative” to provide development programmes for the creative industries and funding for local creative talents to go overseas for exchange and internship.
The Chamber fully agrees with the HKSAR Government’s philosophy of fostering youth development. Over the years, we have spared no effort in encouraging young people to acquire a deeper awareness and understanding of the country’s development by sponsoring activities such as the “Internship and Exchange Program for Tertiary Students”, “Business Study Tour for Students” and “Young Astronaut Training Camp”. Going forward, we will also actively strengthen interaction among the young people in the four places in the areas of technology and innovation, e.g. exploring ways to strengthen cooperation with Qianhai. Based on the development of the “Qianhai-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Dream Factory” established late last year, we will provide more specific training programmes for the development of young people from the four places, jointly nurture those who have creative and innovative ideas, and develop an interaction platform for promoting the long-term development of creativity and innovation.