HONG KONG: The chief executive of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, delivered her policy address here yesterday, saying the SAR government will carry on with innovation and technology (I&T) development in different areas. It was Lam’s first policy address since she was sworn in on July 1.

Lam said that she would lead a high-level, inter-departmental steering committee on I&T to examine and steer measures under the eight areas of I&T development as well as Smart City projects, aiming to take forward innovation and technology development in Hong Kong in an "expeditious and efficient manner".

Capitalising on the advantages of “One Country, Two Systems”, Hong Kong’s geographical location, business environment, legal system, intellectual property, research and development (R&D) capability and financial services, and given the opportunities brought by the National 13th Five-Year Plan and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development, Lam said that Hong Kong had huge potential to become an international innovation and technology hub.

For Hong Kong to catch up in the I&T race and become an international I&T hub, the SAR government will step up efforts in eight key areas - resources for R&D, nurturing a talent pool, venture capital, scientific research infrastructure, legislation review, opening up data, government procurement and popular science education.

“We have set a goal to double the gross domestic expenditure on R&D as a percentage of the gross domestic product to about 45 billion Hong Kong dollars (HKD, about R78bn) a year - from 0.73% to 1.5%, by the end of the current SAR government’s five-year term of office,” Lam said.

The government will also strive to train and pool together more technology talent and to encourage them to pursue a career in innovation and scientific research.

A HKD 500m technology talent scheme will be launched in the coming year to provide funding support for enterprises to recruit post-doctoral talent for scientific research and product development.

“The development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao (Greater) Bay Area and collaboration between Hong Kong and Shenzhen will connect the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of innovation and technology industries, developing an international innovation and technology hub in the Bay Area,” the chief executive said.

The SAR government will review existing legislation and regulations so as to remove outdated provisions that impede the development of innovation and technology.

Departments of the SAR government will open up data sets in various areas to bring convenience to the public and to facilitate technological research as well as the development of various industries.

In terms of smart city development, Lam said the SAR government will invest HK dollars 700m to push ahead with the various key infrastructure projects. - Xinhua