S for IT updates Australian community on HK's innovation and technology developments (with photos)

     The Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, attended the Hong Kong 20: Developments and Opportunities Business Forum in Sydney, Australia, today (September 8) and updated the Australian community on Hong Kong's latest developments and opportunities in the innovation and technology arena.

     At the business forum, Mr Yang told the Australian business community that Hong Kong is committed to harnessing innovation and technology to drive economic growth. Speaking on the vibrant start-up scene in Hong Kong, Mr Yang said that the number of start-ups has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, with about 2 000 innovation and technology start-ups and some 50 incubators, a 24 per cent increase compared to a year ago. About 40 per cent of these 2 000 start-ups were founded by overseas entrepreneurs or returnees who came to Hong Kong, with Australia being ranked fifth in origins of foreign start-up founders, taking up 4.8 per cent.

     Mr Yang said another exciting development is the 87-hectare Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop area, which will complement the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area. A key base for co-operation in scientific research will be established in the Park. Potential areas for development include robotics, biomedicine, smart city and financial technology. The Loop will be a powerful engine to create more synergy with Shenzhen's strong manufacturing capabilities as well as tap into the huge Mainland market opportunity, taking co-operation among the industry, academic and research sectors to another level. He encouraged more Australian companies to capitalise on the wealth of opportunities of the Loop, explore business opportunities in Hong Kong and tap the ever-expanding China market.

     Mr Yang then joined Australia's Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Mr Arthur Sinodinos, and the Group Executive, Digital Banking of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and Board Member of Innovation and Science Australia, Ms Maile Carnegie, for a panel discussion under the theme of "Building our economy through innovation".

     At the margins of the forum, Mr Yang and Mr Sinodinos held a meeting to further exchange views on issues related to innovation and technology of mutual concern. Mr Yang highlighted opportunities in Hong Kong for Australian businesses and entrepreneurs and said he looked forward to facilitating more collaboration between Hong Kong and Australia.

     Mr Yang also attended the luncheon of the business forum where the Chief Executive Officer of the MTR Corporation, Mr Lincoln Leong, joined a panel discussion on infrastructure with the Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Mr Paul Fletcher, and the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, Mr Anthony Albanese.

     The business forum was a large-scale event held in Sydney in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). It was organised by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney.

     In the afternoon, Mr Yang met with the Chief Executive Officer of Stone & Chalk, Mr Alex Scandurra, to gain a deeper understanding of how an independent, not-for-profit and industry-led incubator helps financial technologies start-ups there. Stone & Chalk will be relocated to the New South Wales Government-funded Sydney Startup Hub later in 2017 and is also extending its reach into Melbourne.

     Next on the agenda was a visit to Data61, which is a research unit of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and Australia's leading data innovation group. Mr Yang was given presentations of Data61's projects on cyber security, smart cities and big data analytics.

     Prior to his departure for Hong Kong tomorrow (September 9), Mr Yang will officiate at the HK20 Fun Fun Carnival. It is organised by the Hong Kong Australia Business Association (New South Wales Chapter) with the support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR.

Ends/Friday, September 8, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:22