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Speech by SITI at Hong Kong International Computer Conference 2022 (English only)
     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Professor Sun Dong, at the Hong Kong International Computer Conference 2022 today (November 17):
Rocky (President of the Hong Kong Computer Society (HKCS), Dr Rocky Cheng), Denis (Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the Hong Kong International Computer Conference 2022, Dr Denis Yip), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good afternoon. It is my honour to join you all today at the Hong Kong International Computer Conference (HKICC) 2022. As the annual flagship event organised by the Hong Kong Computer Society, the HKICC has long been one of the most popular conferences in the ICT (information and communications technology) industry that gathered ICT professionals and experts both local and aboard. The theme of the afternoon session today is "Industrialisation". I am very pleased to share with you the Hong Kong SAR Government's efforts in promoting re-industrialisation in Hong Kong.
      Hong Kong has a long history of industrial development. Today, with the ageing workforce and shortage in land resources, it is inevitable for Hong Kong industries to follow the global trend to transform to innovation and technology (I&T)-driven industries to enhance their competitiveness. Stepping into the era of "Industry 4.0", instead of following the old path of the traditional manufacturing industry in last century, we now focus on the development of high-end advanced manufacturing industries based on the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, new materials and smart production processes. At the same time, we encourage transformation and upgrading of traditional manufacturing industries in Hong Kong so as to enhance production efficiency and their overall competitiveness.
      Thanks to the National 14th Five-Year Plan and the national strategy of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) development, this term of Government is firmly committed to develop Hong Kong into an international I&T centre. We can see enormous opportunities being created for re-industrialisation and developing advanced manufacturing in Hong Kong. The retitling of the Innovation and Technology Bureau as the Innovation, Technology and Industry Bureau in July 2022 indicates the Government's determination and sets out more clearly ongoing policy functions and work priorities on re-industrialisation.
      The Chief Executive has announced a series of new initiatives in his first Policy Address last month to foster the I&T development and achieve the goal of re-industrialisation. Apart from creating the post of Commissioner for Industry to assume the responsibilities of steering the strategies on re-industrialisation, the Government has been actively promoting re-industrialisation in five areas, namely infrastructure, talent, capital, technology and scientific research.
      Quality infrastructure and facilities are crucial to the promotion of re-industrialisation. We are pushing ahead the construction of our major infrastructure projects including the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop and the San Tin Technopole in the Northern Metropolis to provide more land for advanced manufacturing. Last year, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation transformed the three industrial estates to InnoParks to boost local I&T-led manufacturing. The Microelectronics Centre in the Yuen Long InnoPark will open in 2024, which is expected to foster R&D (research and development) and technology application of the microelectronics industry, including the semi-conductor industry in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, we are also exploring the feasibility of constructing the second Advanced Manufacturing Centre at Tai Po InnoPark. 
      Apart from land, we also need to maintain stable and comprehensive ICT infrastructure. Hong Kong is one of the leading cities in 5G development and has a high mobile penetration rate. All these provide a solid foundation to support digital transformation by enterprise and accelerate the pace of re-industrialisation.
      Infrastructure aside, we strive to further enlarge our talent pool by a multi-pronged approach. We will be working closely with the newly established Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises to provide special complementary measures in a targeted manner to attract top-notch I&T talents to bring with them their businesses or R&D outcomes to Hong Kong. Besides, we have taken note of the feedback from the industry to enhance the Technology Talent Admission Scheme by relaxing the admission requirement and expanding the coverage to more emerging technology areas. We will also continue to subsidise local enterprises through the Reindustrialisation and Technology Training Programme to train their staff in advanced technologies, especially those related to "Industry 4.0".
      In respect of providing capital, we will further promote the Re-industrialisation Funding Scheme to subsidise more manufacturers to set up new smart production lines in Hong Kong on a matching basis, with the goal of increasing the number of smart production lines from about 30 at present to over 130 by 2027. In terms of technology, we will strengthen our co-operation with the Hong Kong Productivity Council to provide technical support and consultancy services to enterprises in transforming to smart production and foster the transfer of knowledge and technology among them.
      Last but not least, scientific research is also a key element in the re-industrialisation process. Hong Kong possesses strong capabilities in research and development. The Government has set up five R&D centres to drive and co-ordinate applied R&D in selected focus. To further capitalise on our strengths, we have earmarked $10 billion to roll out a new funding scheme, namely the Research, Academic and Industry Sectors One-plus Scheme, RAISe+ Scheme in short, in the next year to promote commercialisation of universities' outstanding R&D outcomes by providing funding on a matching basis for universities' research teams with good potential to become I&T start-ups. Our objective is to encourage more collaboration among industry, academic and research sectors to drive the "one to N" transformation of outstanding R&D results based on a "zero to one" basic research, as well as to strengthen the co-ordination of the upstream, midstream and downstream developments to perfect the I&T ecosystem.
      Ladies and gentlemen, promoting re-industrialisation in Hong Kong is the mainstream consensus of the industry and community. In recent years, we have successfully reversed the declining trend of the manufacturing sector's contribution to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and more manufacturers have expressed their interests to upgrade to smart production. These momentums demonstrate that our work is on the right track. Promoting re-industrialisation in Hong Kong through I&T is an effective way to accelerate the diversification of Hong Kong's industries, stimulate Hong Kong's economic growth as well as to create more new skills, technologies and job opportunities. We will promulgate the Hong Kong I&T Development Blueprint next month to set our major strategies and recommendations under four broad development directions. With the staunch support from our motherland and solid commitment from the Government, coupled with the abundance of talents in the industry and vast opportunities brought by the GBA development, the prospects for re-industrialisation in Hong Kong are bright. I firmly believe that Hong Kong industries will be able to reach new heights of glory. Let's create a new success story for Hong Kong together.
      In closing, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the HKCS for its continual support and contribution to the ICT industry over the years. I wish the HKICC another year of great success and all of you a fruitful experience today. Thank you.
Ends/Thursday, November 17, 2022
Issued at HKT 17:35
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