Speech by CE at opening ceremony of Hong Kong World Youth Science Conference and Xiangjiang Nobel Forum 2024 (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong World Youth Science Conference and the Xiangjiang Nobel Forum 2024 (April 13):





     I would like to turn to our English-speaking friends now.

     I am delighted to see that today's event has brought together six Nobel Laureates, one Turing Laureate, and some 20 internationally renowned academics and scientists from around the world.

     Your research expertise covers an inspiring range, from astronomy, neuroscience and medicine, to electrodynamics, computer science and quantum mechanics, and a great deal more. Your contributions are invaluable to humanity and the world. We look forward to your insights at today's conference, and your inspiration to our future generation of scientists.

     The Hong Kong SAR Government is committed to Hong Kong's rise as an international innovation and technology centre. We have devoted significant resources to such areas as AI (artificial intelligence) and big data, biotech, the medical sciences and new materials.

     That investment continues to expand, and in far-reaching ways. This year, we are launching a 1.3 billion-US-Dollar New Industrialisation Acceleration Scheme. Companies engaged in life and health technology, AI, data science, advanced manufacturing and new energy technology may receive funding support from the Government, for as much as 26 million US dollars, on a matching basis. And those companies taking part may also receive subsidies for research talents.

     We expect the Scheme will attract some 100 companies, investing at least 2.6 billion US dollars in Hong Kong.

     Our startup sector last year, let me add, exceeded 4,200 companies. That's up 34 per cent over just four years ago. About 26 per cent of our startups came from abroad.

     And it's not just startups we are bringing to Hong Kong. In the past 15 months or so, we have attracted some 50 high-tech companies to set up or expand their business in Hong Kong.

     These high-tech firms are creating some 13,000 jobs in our city over the next few years. They're also bringing in over five billion US dollars in investment to our economy.

     Hong Kong's diverse pool of talent will help to sustain the rapid growth in our I&T (innovation and technology) scene, I'm pleased to add. It helps that Hong Kong is the only Asian city with as many as five universities in the world's top 100. According to a latest survey, Hong Kong houses some of the world's top 10 schools for the studies of dentistry, nursing, education, data science and AI in our various universities. Our world-class universities help to train our excellent researchers and multi-talented workforce.

     I'm just touching on a few of the many initiatives and promising areas we're fully invested in. The point, ladies and gentlemen, is that I&T is central to Hong Kong's future. And I am delighted that today's event is connecting so many world-class scientists and innovators.

     Science and technology aside, find good time to enjoy the arts, culture and fabulous food everywhere you turn in Hong Kong – the East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange. And do not forget to spend some good money here as well!

     I know you will enjoy today's events, and I wish you the best of business, science and innovation in the year to come.

     Now allow me to switch back to Chinese.








Ends/Saturday, April 13, 2024
Issued at HKT 15:37