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Speech by SITI at Opening Ceremony of BIOHK2023 (English only) (with photo)
     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Professor Sun Dong, at the Opening Ceremony of BIOHK2023 today (September 13):

Albert (Chairman of the Hong Kong Biotechnology Organization and President of BIOHK2023, Professor Albert Yu), 陳常委 (Standing Committee Member of CPC Guangzhou Municipal Committee, Director-general of GDD Administrative Committee and Party Secretary of Huangpu District Committee, Mr Chen Jie), Dr Yu (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Apollomics Inc and Co-president of BIOHK2023, Dr Yu Guoliang), Mr Chen (Main founder of Ausvic Capital and Co-president of BIOHK2023, Mr Chen Ping), Dr Beutler (Co-founder of Longevity X, Dr Bruce Beutler), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good morning. I am very delighted to be here with you today to mark the annual Opening Ceremony of BIOHK2023. Albert just said this is the second year of this great conference. I am happy to see so many people coming to this conference. Let me start by extending my warmest welcome to all of you, especially those from the Mainland and abroad.

     BIOHK is a flagship biotech event which provides premier opportunities for the biotechnology community coming together to share original insights and cutting-edge knowledge, identify collaboration possibilities, foster business ties and shape the future of the biotechnology industry. The convention theme of this year is "Kaleidoscope", representing the infinite possibilities of what can be achieved in biotechnology. This theme is also a perfect description of Hong Kong's dynamic and diverse I&T (innovation and technology) scene.

     I still remember when I attended the BIOHK2022 event last December. There was one week to go before the promulgation of the Hong Kong I&T Development Blueprint, and time flies, nine months have passed in a flash. The Blueprint has set out key strategies and a clear roadmap from the perspective of top-level planning and design, charting Hong Kong in moving full steam towards our goal of becoming an international I&T centre. In particular, we put our focus on the development of industries with an edge and of strategic importance, including life and health technology and advanced manufacturing and new energy technology industries.

     With its enormous power to transform our economy, environment and health, biotechnology is one of the I&T fields that is high on our policy agenda. Over the past months, my bureau has been making a concerted effort in attracting top-notch I&T enterprises from overseas and the Mainland, including of course, the biotechnology industry, to set up or expand their businesses in Hong Kong, and indeed we have made some good progress. A number of life and health technology companies have already confirmed their plans to come to Hong Kong. The foreseeable clustering of I&T enterprises will bring synergy effects in attracting more talent and capital to Hong Kong, as well as facilitating knowledge and technology transfers on the I&T front.

     Besides, benefiting from our favourable listing conditions, Hong Kong is currently the world's second largest fundraising market for biotechnology companies. With such success, the HKEX has broadened the listing framework to include those pre-commercial companies specialised in food and agriculture technologies since March of this year. The new listing chapter supports even more biotechnology companies to access capital to fund innovative ideas and growth.
     As announced in our Government's 2023-24 Budget, the Government will further invest HK$6 billion, equivalent to nearly US$800 million, to accelerate realisation of transformative R&D (research and development) outcomes related to life and health technology, by setting up related thematic research institutes that would bolster our way to become a world class biomedical R&D centre and create a more conductive environment for our I&T development.

     All those solid foundations will guide our new venture in the development of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Co-operation Zone. With the promulgation of the Development Plan for Shenzhen Park of Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Co-operation Zone two weeks ago, Hong Kong will continue to give full play to our unique strengths to inject new momentum to and set a new stage for collaboration with Shenzhen on I&T development.

     The BIOHK international convention, held year after year, has become an integral part of driving the growth of the local biotechnology community in our I&T ecosystem. With the concerted effort of all players and stakeholders across different sectors, I look forward to the flourishing of Hong Kong's I&T, as well biotechnology development. 

     In closing, may I wish the event great success and all of you a rewarding experience at this convention. Thank you very much.
Ends/Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Issued at HKT 13:24
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The Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Professor Sun Dong, speaks at the Opening Ceremony of BIOHK2023 today (September 13).