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Learning from Sweden

Sweden has a population of less than 10 million, and yet it has long been a global leader in innovation and technological development. Many world-famous brand names in a wide range of industries originate from Sweden, including Ericsson in telecommunications, IKEA in furniture, H&M in fashion and Volvo in automobiles, as well as King, the creator of the smartphone game "Candy Crush". ABBA, one of the most sought-after pop music groups in the 1970s and 1980s, was also born in Sweden. As Hong Kong can draw valuable lessons from Sweden's experiences, I chose the country as one of the destinations of my visit.

The schedule for this visit is tightly packed. Including the trip to Brussels that follows, there will be over a dozen visits and meetings, not counting banquets. During my stay in Sweden, I will look at the development of innovation and technology industries there and learn more about the policy approach of the Swedish government in this regard. Also, I will meet with Swedish government officials to explore, at a government-to-government level, co-operation between the two places in innovation and technological development with a view to creating more opportunities for our researchers and entrepreneurs in the related sectors.

One of the strategic directions that our economy should be heading in is to diversify, deepen and expand our industries. As Hong Kong has a wealth of talented people and creative ideas, the development of innovation and technology industries deserves our focused support.

May 12, 2014