Speech by CE at InnoHK Summit 2023
Following is the video speech by the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, at the InnoHK Summit 2023 today (December 6):
Professor Lap-chee Tsui (Chairman of InnoHK Steering Committee), Mr Albert Wong (Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning to you all. It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the InnoHK Summit 2023.
I am especially delighted to welcome close to 70 world-class scientists and researchers from all around the globe. This is indeed a gathering of great minds.
InnoHK is the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government's pioneering initiative in promoting global research collaboration. With an allocation of HK$10 billion, that is US$1.28 billion, it brings together leading researchers from top universities and institutions in the world.
The theme of today's InnoHK Summit is "From Collaborative Research to Real World Impact", which aptly summarises the importance we attach to international collaboration. For knowledge advancement, for addressing global issues, and for transforming scientific findings into innovations that benefit humankind.
Under the unique "one country, two systems" principle, Hong Kong is bestowed with the unparalleled connectivity with both the Mainland of China and the rest of the world. Hong Kong has long been a leading international financial, shipping and trading centre. And we are determined to emerge as one of the major international hubs of innovation and technology (I&T) in the region.
In my Policy Address two months ago, I announced a series of new initiatives targeting our I&T sector. They range from pressing ahead with new industrialisation and artificial intelligence (AI) development, to providing new land supply for I&T use and digitising government services.
Here, I wish to highlight our key strategies in further enhancing Hong Kong's I&T ecosystem and promoting global collaboration, namely attracting talent and enterprises.
First, on creating a sustainable supply of talent. Hong Kong is the only Asian city that has as many as five universities in the world's top 100. We are determined to continue nurturing our own talent, and rise as an international hub for post-secondary education.
Meanwhile, to fuel our future growth, we are determined to attract talent from around the world to Hong Kong. In just the past year, our various talent admission schemes have attracted over 180 000 applicants, with over 110 000 applications approved so far. Some 70 000 talents have already obtained their entry visas and made their move to Hong Kong. That is two times as much as our annual target of 35 000.
Furthermore, under our Global STEM Professorship Scheme, more than 50 top scholars from around the globe have taken up new academic positions in Hong Kong, with dozens more arriving in the future.
This new wave of professionals and academics will help to inject an important impetus to our talent pool, and synergise with our home-grown talent in driving the city's development.
Second, on attracting enterprises. Last year, I announced our plans to attract global enterprises in strategic industries such as life sciences, AI, fintech, advanced manufacturing and new energy technology. So far, we have already secured 30 key enterprises' expansion or establishment in Hong Kong in the past year. These companies will invest nearly US$4 billion here, and create 10 000 jobs, the majority of which are scientific research and management positions.
These developments, ladies and gentlemen, will allow Hong Kong to continue to be a world-class hub for collaboration among great minds, in the fields of scientific research, nurturing start-ups and growing your businesses.
Hong Kong values multilateralism. Our InnoHK initiative strives to build a global network of mutual learning and advancement. In a world rife with political turmoil and protectionist forces, I hope InnoHK can help to remind us that collaboration should always prevail over confrontation. Win-win solutions over winner-takes-all scenarios. Building bridges over building walls.
I encourage you all to draw on the spirit of collaboration, and make lasting connections that will lead to more scientific breakthroughs and innovations, here, today, in Asia's world city. Thank you.