Speech by FS at Hong Kong Science Park Virtual Career Expo 2021 (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, at Hong Kong Science Park Virtual Career Expo 2021 today (March 18):
Sunny (Chairman of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, Dr Sunny Chai) ladies and gentlemen, online friends,
     Greetings from Hong Kong, where the future – your future – is waiting.
     Being held virtually for the second year, this year's Hong Kong Science Park Career Expo connects you with more than 240 Science Park companies. And they're your ticket to over 2 000 promising job opportunities in the innovation and technology (I&T) sector. Right here in Hong Kong. Where I&T is not only your future but ours too.
     Let me tell you why. Innovation and technology is a policy priority of the Hong Kong SAR Government. Its development is critical to every sector, every industry, of our economy.
     To date, this Government has allocated over US$14 billion for the development of I&T. That certainly includes Science Park, home to some 1 000 tech companies. And so much more to come. That's because two major research clusters at Science Park are now opening for business. One is laser-focused on artificial intelligence and robotics, the other on healthcare technology. And in these pandemic times, we all know how essential healthcare technology is to all of our futures.
     The clusters are attracting high-profile research organisations and institutions from all over the world. And they're looking for people like you.  
     Hong Kong is also a magnet for start-ups. Last year, nearly 3 400 innovating companies called Hong Kong "home". That's up more than 50 per cent over just four years ago.
     We're investing in their future as well. Over the past two years, our Innovation and Technology Venture Fund has pumped nearly US$13 million into 19 local start-ups, while attracting over US$65 million in private investment.
     Innovation and technology is at the heart of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Development, the cluster-city development integrating Hong Kong and Macao with nine cities in the Pearl River Delta region.
     Add them up and you have a regional marketplace of some 72 million consumers, with collective GDP per capita exceeding US$23,000. Hong Kong will play a central role in the Greater Bay Area – in sectors such as financial services, aviation and, of course, innovation and technology.
     The Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park, located near Hong Kong's boundary with Shenzhen, is under development. We expect nearly 5 000 jobs will be created in the Park's first phase, from 2024 to 2027.
     On full completion, the Park will become home to some 52 000 jobs, powering the Greater Bay Area's rise as one of the world's leading I&T hubs.
     In short, what are you waiting for?
     I look forward to seeing you soon in Hong Kong. Where the future is yours.
     Thank you.

Ends/Thursday, March 18, 2021
Issued at HKT 14:16