Following is a speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Industry, Mr CHAU Tak Hay, in moving the second reading of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation Bill in the Legislative Council today (December 20): (Translation)
I move that the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation Bill be read the second time.
At present, the Hong Kong Industrial Estates Corporation (HKIEC), the Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre Corporation (HKITCC) and the Provisional Hong Kong Science Park Company Limited (PHKSPCL) are providing infrastructural support to industries of various types and scales. The HKIEC offers land at cost to industries with new or improved technology and processes which cannot operate in multi-storey buildings. It thus facilitates upgrading of Hong Kong's technology levels and broadening of its economic base. Through its technology-based business incubation programme, the HKITCC focuses on nurturing technology start-ups by providing them with support in marketing, finance, technology transfer and management during their critical initial three years of operation. The Science Park will provide an environment to encourage clustering of technology-based companies which focus on intensive research and development activities. The competitiveness of these companies will be enhanced through active interaction and collaboration.
The objective of the Bill is to merge these three organisations to streamline the service structure and pool together resources with a view to providing a one-stop service to industry. The merged organisation will be called the 'Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation'. It will provide support services to industry in a flexible and strategic manner, from nurturing of technology start-ups, facilitating technology transfer, creating a desirable environment to encourage applied research, to offering land for production. It will cater for the needs of industry at various stages in a comprehensive manner, hence promoting the long term development of high value-added industries.
Apart from enabling the new corporation to continue to deliver the services currently offered by the HKIEC, the HKITCC and the PHKSPCL, the Bill also empowers the new corporation to develop new services to achieve its objectives. Since the new corporation will remain a publicly funded organisation with an important public mission, we consider it necessary to establish it as a statutory corporation to give it an appropriate status, to clearly define its duties and powers, and to provide for Government control to ensure proper public accountability. As regards financial arrangements, the net assets of the three organisations will become the authorised capital of the new corporation. The new corporation will be required to submit to the Government its annual estimates of income and expenditure, statements of accounts and reports of activities. It shall also appoint a professional auditor to audit its statements of accounts. The audited statements of accounts and annual reports shall be tabled in the Legislative Council.
The Bill has drawn reference from the provisions of the HKIEC Ordinance and the HKITCC Ordinance. We have also made improvements to the provisions in the light of operating experience. The objective is to enable the new corporation to operate with sufficient flexibility to respond efficiently to the needs of a changing new economy.
Upon the establishment of the new corporation, the existing three oganisations will be dissolved. All their rights, obligations, assets and liabilities will be vested in the new corporation.
Madam President, the Bill will significantly improve the technological infrastructural support framework in Hong Kong and enable the provision of strategic and comprehensive support services to industry. This in turn will uphold Hong Kong's position in the global technological arena. I hope Members can support the Bill to allow early implementation of the merger.
Madam President, with these remarks, I commend the Bill to Members. Thank you.
End/Wednesday, December 20, 2000