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Joining forces with the Mainland and the world to promote Internet economy

This morning, I attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the Internet Economy Summit organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and supported by the China Internet Development Foundation.  After that, I listened to speeches by Deputy Director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, Mr Xu Lin, and Executive Vice President of Microsoft, Dr Harry Shum. I also exchanged views with Dr Shum on the global development trend of the Internet economy and the HKSAR Government's complementary policies.

Hong Kong is well positioned to promote the Internet economy. We have world-class technological infrastructure. Our mobile penetration rate is among the highest in the world. Our Internet connection speed is among the world's fastest, and our household broadband penetration rate exceeds 80 per cent. Just like Hong Kong's other economic pillars, such as finance, logistics and professional services, our Internet economy also enjoys the unique combined advantages of "one country" and "two systems".

Over the past three decades, Mainland China has undergone "leap-frogging" development. Bypassing the use of motorcycles and fixed-line telephones, the country jumped directly from the era of bicycles to the era of cars and express rail links, and from an absence of home phones to the use of mobile phones and smartphones.  Today, it is even making giant strides in the Internet economy.

At today's Summit, Deputy Director Xu also explained how the Internet economy came into play in the country's seven main industries, namely commerce, manufacturing, transport, health care, tourism, finance and culture. Under the Belt and Road Initiative, the Internet economy can even promote international co-operation.  Taking advantage of this macro environment, the Internet economy will also provide our young people with more internship and training opportunities and create favourable conditions for venture building. With all these opportunities in front of us, we must play to Hong Kong's strengths in a proactive manner.

After nearly three years of filibustering in the Legislative Council, we finally established the Innovation and Technology Bureau late last year. Led by the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, the HKSAR Government has made all-out efforts to promote innovation and technology over the past five months.  Today's inaugural Internet Economy Summit is an example. At this Summit I witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Mainland's Smart City Development Alliance and Hong Kong's Smart City Consortium. I believe that our Internet economy can go a long way with the country's policy support and the concerted efforts of the China Internet Development Foundation, the HKSAR Government and the community of Hong Kong. It will bring us a more diversified economy and better development edge, creating more opportunities for our young people and making our life safer, more convenient and comfortable.

In tandem with the Internet Economy Summit, the four-day Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) and International ICT Expo opened concurrently. Entering their 13th editions, these two exhibitions provide an international platform for more than 3 400 exhibitors to showcase their hottest electronics products and cutting-edge ICT solutions to potential business partners worldwide. The exhibits are mainly high value-added inventions comprising high technology features and elements of intelligence. This year, the organiser launched a new iAccessories section featuring a wide spectrum of accessories for mobile and smart devices. You can go to these two exhibitions to see for yourself how technology is adding more colour to our lives.

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April 13, 2016