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Promoting innovation and technology industry with all-out efforts

This afternoon, I attended and addressed a forum, jointly organised by five business groups, on how to develop a leading edge through innovation and technology. This forum and the Internet Economy Summit held two days ago were both highlights of the International IT Fest 2016.

Hong Kong has many advantages in developing innovation and technology. These include excellent information infrastructure, a robust legal system, a sound system of intellectual property protection and a high quality talent pool. Under the "one country, two systems" framework, we have the support of the country with a vast hinterland, enjoying the advantage of "one country". At the same time, we possess the advantages of being an international city under "two systems".  We are well placed as a "super-connector" between Mainland China and the world.

Cultivating innovation and technology start-ups require capital input. In this year's Policy Address, I announced a host of measures to support innovation and technology start-ups. These include setting up a $2 billion Innovation and Technology Venture Fund for co-investing with private venture capital funds on a matching basis in innovation and technology start-ups. Cyberport will allocate $200 million to launch a Cyberport Macro Fund for investment in its information and communications technology start-ups. The Government has also proposed a $500 million Pilot Technology Voucher Programme to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to improve productivity and upgrade their businesses through the use of technology. The Programme will provide, on a matching basis, a maximum subsidy of $200,000 for each SME.

Cloud computing is under rapid development in recent years. Coupled with the Government's new initiatives such as smart city and big data analysis, the demand for data centres will continue to grow in the coming years. The Government has regularised the concessionary measures to encourage conversion of old industrial buildings into data centres and simplified the application procedures.

We have received positive feedback from the community since the establishment of the Innovation and Technology Bureau four months ago. There is now better co-operation among the Government, the industry, academia and the research sector. The Government will continue our efforts, and we hope that we can make up for lost time.

15 April, 2016