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LCQ2: Promoting development of innovation and technology
     Following is a question by the Hon Shang Hailong and a reply by the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Professor Sun Dong, in the Legislative Council today (February 15):
     The Government earlier on promulgated the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Development Blueprint to establish a clear development path for Hong Kong's innovation and technology (I&T) work. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) given that the Government has put forward a number of initiatives to "compete for enterprises" in the latest Policy Address, whether the Innovation, Technology and Industry Bureau will strengthen collaboration with the Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises in formulating the relevant plans, and set clear key performance indicators for the relevant work, so as to facilitate the Legislative Council and the public to monitor the implementation progress of the relevant work; and
(2) whether, in order to pool together more technology talents, the Government will consider formulating a special mechanism with the Mainland Government to provide more facilitation measures for the future development of major I&T co-operation hubs including the San Tin Technopole and the Loop, such as allowing Mainland I&T personnel who hold legal travel documents and need to commute frequently between Hong Kong and the Mainland to adopt an approach of "leaving early and returning late" in travelling between the two places?
     Promoting the development of innovation and technology (I&T) is the work focus of this term of Government. The Government has promulgated the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Development Blueprint (the Blueprint) at the end of last year to lay out the general directions and major strategies for Hong Kong's future I&T development in the coming five to 10 years from the perspective of a top-level planning. The Blueprint has set out major policy suggestions under four broad development directions, including enhancing the I&T ecosystem, enlarging the I&T talent pool, etc.
     Having consulted the Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises (OASES), a reply to the various parts of the question raised by the Hon Shang is as follows:
(1) In his 2022 Policy Address announced in October last year, the Chief Executive set the objective of promoting technology industry development through attracting enterprises and talents to Hong Kong, primarily focusing on technology industries in which we enjoy clear advantages and with strategic significance such as life and health technology, artificial intelligence and data science, advanced manufacturing and new energy technology, etc. The goal is to attract not less than 100 high potential or representative I&T enterprises to set up or expand their businesses in Hong Kong in the coming five years, including at least 20 top notch I&T enterprises.
     The Innovation, Technology and Industry Bureau (ITIB) is now making all-out efforts on this front in collaboration with the OASES. We have been contacting various Mainland and overseas I&T enterprises from key industries to introduce the advantages and latest development of the I&T industry in Hong Kong and invite them to set up their businesses in Hong Kong. Promoting the development of the technology industry requires the concerted efforts and collaboration of different stakeholders in the society. We will bring the whole society together to attract business and investment, thereby achieving the goal set in the Policy Address. The ITIB and its departments, as well as I&T parks that have close connection with the industry, such as the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park and Cyberport, etc., will leverage the network of our various I&T stakeholders, assisting to outreach to enterprises from the Mainland and overseas to tell the good stories of Hong Kong.

     The Blueprint has set macro development targets for Hong Kong's I&T development in the coming five to 10 years and put forth reference development indicators covering research and development, start-up, talent and industry development, etc. Different stakeholders can make reference to these targets and indicators in reviewing the implementation of various strategies under the Blueprint. We will review the progress of various indicators periodically and brief relevant Panel of the Legislative Council when appropriate. We will also review the need to update relevant indicators in response to national planning, local and global economic and social development from time to time.
(2) Under the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy, the San Tin Technopole will provide about 240 hectares of land for I&T-related uses, including the Loop of 87 hectares and other land around San Tin of 150 hectares). Together with the Shenzhen I&T Zone, it will form the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Co-operation Zone (Co-operation Zone) of approximately 540 hectares, which can combine the strengths of both Hong Kong and Shenzhen in pooling together Mainland and overseas talents, and become an essential propeller for the development of an international I&T centre in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). The target of the San Tin Technopole is to become an integrated community which can attract I&T talents and provide them with facilitation to work and settle. This would provide better support for Hong Kong's I&T development and attract Mainland and overseas enterprises, research institutes and higher education institutions to set up presence and open up new industries, thereby developing a stronger I&T development platform and building a comprehensive I&T ecosystem and industry chain.
     Our country has all along been the strongest support for Hong Kong's I&T development. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has been in close liaison with the relevant Central Government ministries and the Guangdong Provincial Government to actively explore measures to facilitate convenient cross-boundary flow of innovation elements such as talents, materials, capital and information, including actively providing facilitation to non-Chinese nationals residing in Hong Kong to travel to other cities of the GBA for business, research, exchanges and visits, etc. Meanwhile, in order to jointly attract talents and investment to the Co-operation Zone, the governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen signed a co-operation agreement in 2021 for the development of the Co-operation Zone and put forward a joint policy package covering support measures on facilitating flow of talents and scientific research resources and business development, etc. The HKSAR Government will continue to explore actively with relevant authorities in the Mainland measures facilitating cross-boundary flow of talents between the two places, in particular I&T talents working in the Loop in the future. We will make timely announcement.

     Thank you, President.
Ends/Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Issued at HKT 14:25
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