Speech by SITI at Opening Ceremony of Asia Pacific Information and Communications Technology Alliance Awards 2023 (English only) (with photo)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Professor Sun Dong, at the Opening Ceremony of Asia Pacific Information and Communications Technology Alliance (APICTA) Awards 2023 today (December 5):

Mr Inserra (Chairman of the APICTA, Mr Fulvio Inserra), Rocky (President of the Hong Kong Computer Society, Dr Rocky Cheng), Peter (Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, Mr Peter Yan), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good morning and welcome to the APICTA Awards 2023. First of all, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Hong Kong Computer Society for working with the OGCIO (Office of the Government Chief Information Officer) for orchestrating this flagship ICT (information and communications technology) event in the Asia-Pacific region. 

     The APICTA Awards stand as a beacon of excellence, bringing together the brightest minds and talent who have demonstrated not just exceptional perseverance but also remarkable creativity. The Awards serve as the catalyst for fostering closer collaboration among ICT industry players in the Asia-Pacific region, driving technological breakthroughs forward and laying the groundwork for a future rich in innovation.

     Followed by the events in 2004 and 2013, Hong Kong is honoured to host the prestigious APICTA Awards again for the third time. It is the best testament to our standing as a vibrant and leading ICT hub in the region. It also underscores our unwavering dedication to fostering innovation and the growth of our ICT ecosystem.

     To strengthen Hong Kong's competitiveness and promote high-quality economic development, the Hong Kong SAR Government has recently announced a series of proactive I&T (innovation and technology) initiatives in the 2023 Policy Address promulgated in October to chart the way forward for further developing Hong Kong into an international I&T centre. Let me share with you some highlights.

     First, we will set up a dedicated agency, namely the Digital Policy Office, to promote the opening up of data and co-ordinate among government departments to provide more digital government services. Second, we will launch over a hundred digital government initiatives from 2024 to further promote the development of digital government and smart city. The initiatives include issuing and verifying certain licences and certificates electronically, enhancing security in public cargo areas, and providing electronic payment options for all government fees within one year. Third, we are establishing an AI (artificial intelligence) supercomputing centre right here at Cyberport to foster the AI development in Hong Kong. 

     On the other hand, we have been working closely with the Guangdong Provincial Government to develop the Digital Bay Area and to promote the Cross-boundary Public Services initiative. We will strive to strengthen I&T co-operation with the Mainland, thereby further promoting the development of Hong Kong into an international I&T centre and facilitating our better integration into the overall development of our country.    

     All in all, Hong Kong will thrive as a bustling gateway that connects I&T companies in the Mainland, the Asia-Pacific region and the world under the principle of "one country, two systems".

     Today’s opening ceremony signifies the official start of the riveting four-day journey of the APICTA Awards programmes. To all the APICTA Awards 2023 entries, I wish you the best of luck as you embark on this incredible adventure. I also wish to express my gratitude to all members of the APICTA Executive Committee and the APICTA Awards 2023 Hong Kong Organising Committee, as well as all the judges for your unwavering support and dedication which have helped elevate the ICT industry in the Asia-Pacific region.

     Before I close, December 10 is the polling day of the District Council Ordinary Election in Hong Kong. May I take this opportunity to invite all eligible voters to cast your vote on the coming Sunday for a better community in Hong Kong.

     May I wish you all a truly enriching and rewarding APICTA Awards experience and a wonderful stay in our vibrant city, Hong Kong.

Ends/Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Issued at HKT 11:43