Opening remarks by S for IT at "Blockchain Strategies for Business" Conference (English only) (with photos)
Herman (Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, Mr Herman Lam), distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning to you all and welcome to Cyberport. For me, it’s always good to be back at Cyberport again.
It gives me great pleasure to join you all at this conference today, focusing on the latest trends in blockchain development and its implications for business strategies.
Blockchain, as we all know, has attracted global attention and interest in recent years. The Financial Times reported in November 2015 that blockchain technology could cut banks’ infrastructure costs for cross-border payments, securities trading and regulatory compliance by some US$15-20 billion a year starting in 2022. Blockchain can also reduce the risk of fraud significantly. As a result, financial institutions and corporations around the world have invested heavily to explore the potential applications of blockchain technology.
Although blockchain has been widely associated with the application in cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, the blockchain innovation can be applied outside of the financial services sector, such as electronic health records and smart contracts. For example, we all know that IBM has joined hand with the Linux Foundation and other industry players, in the Hyperledger project to extend blockchain technology to general applications across the industries.
Hong Kong is also committed to blockchain technology development. Earlier this year, the Financial Secretary outlined in his Budget a package of measures to facilitate the development of FinTech in Hong Kong. This includes the need for the industry and relevant organisations to explore more applications of blockchain technology. For enterprises developing FinTech products and solutions, they can benefit from the new and existing funding support from the Government, which includes the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund and the Cyberport Macro Fund announced in the 2016 Policy Address. Cyberport, as Herman mentioned earlier, has also been tasked to expand its incubation programme to support FinTech development.
Indeed, Cyberport is well positioned to provide a cross-sector collaboration platform on FinTech development in Hong Kong. FinTech-related companies, including incubatees, tenants and Smart-Space users, which represent a key component of the Cyberport community, are essential for Hong Kong’s future. Since 2014, Cyberport has collaborated with Accenture to establish the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia Pacific here in Hong Kong. We are the third city in the world to host the Innovation Lab, together with New York and London. The Innovation Lab partners with the leading financial institutions in Asia Pacific to support early-stage local FinTech start-ups.
Cyberport is also taking active steps to strengthen its support for the start-up community. It has recently opened a new FinTech co-working space facility. This dedicated 3 000-square-metre incubation programme will provide support to about, as Herman said, 150 FinTech start-ups in the next five years. In addition, the Cyberport University Partnership Programme was launched last year. And we all know that 52 university students from five local universities participated in the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp organised by the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Another group of 56 students is attending the Boot Camp this summer.
Today’s conference marks another important step by Cyberport to promote FinTech-related innovation and technology in Hong Kong. I am sure there will be more to come.
The Hong Kong SAR Government is committed to using innovation and technology to drive Hong Kong’s economic development. Through the adoption of blockchain technology, I have confidence that the blockchain innovators will further consolidate Hong Kong’s position as an innovation hub and international financial centre.
I wish everyone a fruitful and exciting sharing at today’s conference. Thank you very much.
Ends/Thursday, July 28, 2016
Issued at HKT 12:54
Issued at HKT 12:54