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Bright future ahead
Hong Kong is poised to play an active role in the developments of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area, said Chief Secretary for Administration, Matthew Cheung, at an investment conference (Mar 19). He added that the bountiful new opportunities in such areas as financial services, innovation and technology as well as infrastructure projects, would also provide new impetus for the city’s economic growth and further reinforce Hong Kong’s position as an international financial, transport and trade center.
Commitment to innovation
Hong Kong is committed to building a new model of development, one that is focused on the creation of an enabling environment for business and business innovation, and on the application of innovation and technology to retool pillar industries and spark entirely new ones, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam (Mar 21). The government has unveiled various initiatives in this respect, including the Hong Kong Smart City Blueprint, the introduction of tax incentives for corporations to increase spending on research and redevelopment, and expanding the use of innovation and technology within the government.
Ideal biotech hub
Hong Kong is firmly embracing innovation and technology as the engine for future growth, and is committed to investing resources to bolster the areas of biotech, artificial intelligence, smart city and Fintech. Speaking at the inaugural HKEX Biotech Summit (Mar 22), Financial Secretary Paul Chan noted that Hong Kong’s plethora of financing opportunities, coupled with the talent of its people, and its supportive, business-friendly and innovative culture, all serve to make the city the ideal biotechnology hub. He also highlighted government led initiatives, including the upcoming launch of the Technology Talent Scheme to recruit post-doctoral talent.
‘Innovation’ and ‘growth’ buzz words of 2018 AFF
Chief Executive Carrie Lam highlighted the tremendous growth and untapped potential in the Asia region for business opportunities and investments at the opening of the 11th annual Asian Financial Forum (Jan 15-16) in Hong Kong. She noted the growing Chinese economy in particular and the city’s position as the world’s largest offshore RMB business hub, the mainland’s preferred city to list IPOs, and as a center for asset and risk management, and concluded by praising innovation and advancements in technology as paramount for generating new business opportunities and raising operational efficiency.
Financial Secretary reaffirms city’s ambitions
More than 80 speakers and 700 business leaders and investors gathered at the annual Asia Private Equity Forum (Jan 17) in Hong Kong in which Financial Secretary Paul Chan gave a rousing keynote praising HK’s 3.7% growth rate in 2017 -the fastest in six years- and predicting great things for 2018. He reiterated the government’s support of the fund and asset management industry, and its goals to enhance competitiveness and economic growth. “Our ambition is out sized, as is our ability and resolve.”
Ranked among top 5 places to do business
Hong Kong has been ranked fifth in the world’s easiest places to do business, reaffirming the government’s efforts in business facilitation. In its “Doing Business 2018 Report”, the World Bank commended Hong Kong for successfully implementing reform measures, including improving the quality of the land administration system by enhancing its reliability and establishing a complaints mechanism. The report compares the ease of doing business in 190 economies across 10 indicators. Hong Kong performed well in “starting a business” (3rd), “paying taxes” (3rd), “getting electricity” (4th) and “dealing with construction permits” (5th).
Smart city infrastructural investment
The imminent input of millions of infrastructural investment coupled with a smart city blueprint will put Hong Kong on course to become a smarter city. Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang said the infrastructural projects included a single digital identity and authentication platform for online government and commercial transactions, a multi-functional smart lampposts pilot, and more reliable and efficient delivery of e-government services from the government cloud structure. Each new infrastructure will mean more new opportunities for the information and communication technology industry.
Most visited city in the world
Keeping the title for the eighth consecutive year, Hong Kong remains the world’s most visited city by international travelers due to its strategic location and ties with China, according to a study by London-based Euromonitor International. An estimated 26 million international visitors are expected in Hong Kong this year.
Source: Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office