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Govt enriches I&T ecosystem

It gives me great pleasure to speak at the opening of the Inno Bay 2021 programme co-organised by China Global Television Network and Hong Kong X Foundation. I like very much the name of this programme - Inno Bay succinctly captures the ambition of developing an international innovation and technology (I&T) hub in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and echoes the point that innovation and reform is one of the basic principles in driving the Greater Bay Area, as enshrined in the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area promulgated in February 2019.   As a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong is one of the core cities in the 9+2 Greater Bay Area, comprising nine cities in the Guangdong province as well as the two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. Leveraging unique advantages under “one country, two systems” and high quality research in our universities, with five of them amongst the world's top 100, and our excellent technology infrastructure which was recently ranked the world's number two by the IMD world digital competitiveness index, as well as being the world's number two platform for the listing of biotech companies, Hong Kong is well positioned to make significant contributions to the Greater Bay Area's I&T goal.   To enhance our global competitiveness, my Government has made unprecedented efforts in I&T development in Hong Kong. Over the past four years, we have invested nearly US$17 billion in technology infrastructure and research and development, as well as in nurturing talent. It is gratifying to see that the I&T ecosystem in Hong Kong has become increasingly vibrant, with Hong Kong being the birthplace of 12 unicorns already. Indeed, we can count 18 unicorns with strong links to Hong Kong, according to the Hong Kong X Foundation.   That determination for Hong Kong to succeed and significant efforts made in recent years have not gone unnoticed by the central government. Memoranda of co-operation have been entered into with the Ministry of Science & Technology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Hong Kong research projects have received national funding and joint research laboratories have been set up in the Hong Kong Science Park on top of the 16 State Key Laboratories in Hong Kong. All these have culminated in express support for Hong Kong to develop into an international innovation and technology hub in the nation's 14th Five-Year Plan promulgated in March this year, which also includes the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Loop as one of the four major platforms of co-operation in the Greater Bay Area.   I am grateful for the nation's support, and together with our local I&T sector, we are determined to play to our strengths. Therefore, in my 2021 Policy Address delivered on October 6, I outlined enhanced measures to enrich Hong Kong's I&T ecosystem, including supporting our universities to build more laboratory facilities, recruiting more research talents, giving more impetus to re-industrialisation and collaborating more closely with Shenzhen. In particular, we plan to develop an InnoLife Healthtech Hub in the Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park as the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of the importance of life sciences to humankind. We are confident that this is an area Hong Kong could play a pivotal role in the Greater Bay Area and beyond.   Chief Executive Carrie Lam delivered this video speech at China Global Television Network's programme InnoBay 2021 on November 22.
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