Opening remarks by S for IT at Opening Ceremony of Hong Kong International Computer Conference 2016 (English only) (with photos)
Michael (President of the Hong Kong Computer Society, Mr Michael Leung), N T (Chairperson of the Organising Committee of HKICC 2016, Dr Cheung Ngai-tseung), Patrick (Chairperson of the Programme Committee of HKICC 2016, Professor Patrick Chau), distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning. It's good to see all of you here. It's my great pleasure to join you all at the opening of Hong Kong International Computer Conference 2016.
Throughout its history, this conference has brought together industry leaders, innovators, trend-setters and business executives from Hong Kong, the Mainland and overseas to share and exchange insights on the latest technological advancements and development trends.
The theme of this year's conference is "Innovative Collaboration for the Connected Economy". Hong Kong has the unique core strengths and edge to take advantage of the connected economy. We have world-class information and communications technology infrastructure. Hong Kong's household broadband Internet penetration rate is 85 per cent, and our mobile penetration rate is at 230 per cent. We also rank second worldwide in average peak Internet connection speed, and fourth worldwide in terms of digital security. You may wish to note that Hong Kong also has the lowest data centre risk index in Asia.
Some of you may know that Hong Kong is connected to nine regional and trans-Pacific submarine cable systems, as well as with the overland cable networks of all four telecommunications operators in the Mainland. Furthermore, Facebook and Google have recently announced their plan to connect Hong Kong directly with Los Angeles by 2018, via a new submarine cable with a capacity of 120 Tbps, which will be the highest among the trans-Pacific cable systems. In its announcement, Facebook said, "Most Pacific subsea cables go from the United States to Japan, and this new direct route will give us more diversity and resiliency in the Pacific." Obviously, they see opportunities in Hong Kong.
In addition, our sound legal system and robust protection for intellectual property rights, as well as R&D capabilities from our universities and research institutions, give Hong Kong the extra edge to become the innovation and technology hub of the region. Under the "one country, two systems" arrangement, Hong Kong is part of China and, at the same time, Hong Kong is aligned with the way of doing business and professional practices of the world. With free flow of talent, information and capital, and the ability to command the trust of international community, Hong Kong is the perfect "super-connector" between the Mainland and the rest of world.
In this year's Policy Address and Budget, the Government has committed a total sum of HK$18 billion to implement a number of measures to further enhance our innovation and technology ecosystem. One of the measures is the HK$2 billion Innovation and Technology Venture Fund, under which we will co-invest with private venture capital funds in local technology start-ups. Another measure is the HK$500 million Technology Voucher Programme, under which we will provide funding support to encourage our SMEs to make wider use of technological services and solutions to improve their productivity and upgrade their business processes.
To encourage our world-class universities to conduct more translational R&D, we are setting up a dedicated HK$2 billion Midstream Research Programme, with a more focused theme and longer duration to spur R&D outcomes with better potential for commercialisation.
The Government is also committed to building Hong Kong into a smart city. Smart city is the ability for the Government and the stakeholders to leverage on the latest Internet technologies to improve its productivity and also the management of the entire city. By doing so, we can connect better. Our objectives are to make use of innovation and technology to address urban challenges for enhancing city management and improving quality of living, sustainability, efficiency and safety of our city. We have commissioned a consultancy study to formulate the smart city blueprint which will map out development plans for Hong Kong up to 2030. The study will be completed by April 2017.
The Government cannot do it alone in developing Hong Kong into a smart city. We need participation of the community. We will soon set up a dedicated portal for crowdsourcing innovative ideas for our smart city blueprint. I encourage you all to join us and offer your best ideas and proposals.
Last week I attended the 3rd World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China. The impressive line-up of plenary speakers included Robin Li from Baidu, Jack Ma from Alibaba, and Yang Yuanqing from Lenovo. All of the iconic plenary speakers had the same vision. That is, they all said the glory days of mobile Internet are over, and will be taken over by the innovation of intelligent Internet. Big data, IoT, cloud computing and artificial intelligence will become the key driving forces of intelligent Internet. I believe, instead of playing catch-up in mobile Internet, there is an excellent opportunity for Hong Kong to leapfrog in the development of intelligent Internet, in the age of artificial intelligence. I encourage all of you to work together to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.
Last but not least, I would like to thank the Hong Kong Computer Society for organising this flagship event for our ICT industry. I wish everyone here a fruitful sharing at the conference. For those of you from the Mainland and abroad, I wish you all a very pleasant stay in Hong Kong.
Thank you very much and have a good day!
Ends/Monday, November 21, 2016
Issued at HKT 11:53
Issued at HKT 11:53