CE starts visit to Sweden (with photos)

     The Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, began his first official visit to Europe in Stockholm, Sweden, on May 12 (Stockholm time).

     In the morning, Mr Leung visited Karolinska Institutet (KI), a world-class medical university and research institution in Sweden. KI has been working closely with the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in medical research and student exchange programmes.

     As Hong Kong is stepping up its efforts to promote technology transfer and realisation of research and development results, Mr Leung said he was pleased to learn more about the KI Innovation System, a system developed by KI to identify ideas and support commercialisation and exploitation of innovations in medicine and health. Mr Leung hoped to foster through this visit more mutually beneficial collaborations between Hong Kong and Sweden.

     The Chief Executive then met with the Minister for Information Technology and Energy of Sweden, Ms Anna-Karin Hatt, and took the opportunity to introduce Hong Kong's unique role as a super-connector between the Mainland of China and the rest of the world. They also exchanged views on how Hong Kong and Sweden can work together in information and communications technology, environmental technology and design and innovation.

     Mr Leung also met with the Minister for Finance of Sweden, Mr Anders Borg. He then attended a luncheon with senior management of Swedish enterprises. On both occasions, Mr Leung highlighted the advantages of Hong Kong as an international business and financial centre and encouraged Swedish enterprises to invest in Hong Kong and make use of the city's global network to explore the market in the Mainland of China and across Asia.

     In the afternoon, Mr Leung visited KTH Royal Institute of Technology, a leading technological university in Sweden. He was impressed by Sweden's strong culture of innovation and technological prowess as shown by KTH's efforts in promoting technology transfer and close collaboration with the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems as well as Swedish businesses in research programmes.

     During the visit, Mr Leung gained first-hand knowledge on how the Swedish model works, which provides a useful source of reference for Hong Kong in strengthening its efforts in technology transfer and research commercialisation. Mr Leung pointed out that Hong Kong as a super-connector can provide a platform for academics from KTH, Hong Kong and the Mainland of China to work together in technology research.

     In the evening, the Chief Executive addressed a dinner co-organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London, Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Royal Sweden Hong Kong Business Council.

     Mr Leung said that with well-developed technology infrastructure to support advanced research and innovation, Hong Kong provides a vibrant gateway for Swedish design and innovation to reach vast markets in the Mainland of China and across Asia. Hong Kong is also a free and open economy that welcomes people and ideas from all corners of the globe, including Sweden, he added.

     "Hong Kong provides an excellent showcase for Swedish brands and designs to catch the eye of our residents and our visitors. Hong Kong is an ideal testing ground for Swedish firms to promote their products to the huge consumer groups in Asia, and especially in the Mainland of China. It is often the case that, if it sells well in Hong Kong, it will then sell well across the boundary in Mainland China with its customer base of some 1.3 billion potential customers," Mr Leung said.

      Mr Leung added that Hong Kong ranks highly in global standings for information technology infrastructure, including being number one for international Internet bandwidth, second in the world for business and innovation environment and third for mobile tariffs affordability. Hong Kong was ranked first in Asia and seventh in the world in the Global Innovation Index 2013. The Government's policy is to harness the full potential of information communications technology to benefit the community and enhance Hong Kong's position as a leading digital city.

     On May 13 (Stockholm time), Mr Leung will visit Kista Science City, a leading information and communications technology cluster in Europe, and Stockholm Royal Seaport, an urban development project with unique green features. He will meet with the Mayor of Stockholm, Mr Sten Nordin, and the Governor of Sveriges Riksbank (central bank of Sweden), Mr Stefan Ingves. He will also attend a roundtable dinner hosted by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

     Mr Leung will visit the Stockholm metro in the morning of May 14 (Stockholm time) before departing for Brussels, Belgium, in the afternoon.

Ends/Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Issued at HKT 10:00