Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu delivers a speech at the launching ceremony of OASES Partnership at the Central Government Offices on Oct 4, 2023. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)
Twenty enterprises from the sectors of life sciences, biotechnology, financial technology, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and data science inked agreements with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Wednesday.
The group became the first batch of partners of the city’s Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises (OASES), which seeks to promote Hong Kong’s innovation and technology ecosystem.
Representatives of the 20 companies signed the agreement with government representatives in the launching ceremony of the OASES partnership, witnessed by Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu and Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po.
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said that since OASES was established in December, the government has attracted 30 companies of strategic importance that will either expand or establish their business presences in Hong Kong
The chief executive said that since OASES was established in December, the government has attracted 30 companies of strategic importance that will either expand or establish their business presences in Hong Kong.
These companies collectively will make an initial investment of about HK$30 billion ($3.83 billion), creating about 10,000 jobs. The majority of these companies will eventually settle in the Northern Metropolis — the ambitious land planning project that aims to transform the northern part of Hong Kong into an innovation and technology center.
“Hong Kong is an ‘oasis’, but it is not surrounded by desert, but surrounded by the Chinese mainland and Asia, which are the main engines of global economic growth,” Lee said at the ceremony.
“Hong Kong is a value-added bridge between Chinese and overseas companies, and would actively facilitating companies for expanding their business. OASES will provide one-stop convenient services to facilitate employee visa applications and children's education,” Lee added.
The chief executive also pointed out that Hong Kong is the only Asian city with five universities ranked among the top 100 in the world, and it is also a talent hub with different subject backgrounds.
The government has set a goal that within four years, more than 35 percent of college students will study STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po speaks at the launching ceremony of OASES Partnership at the Central Government Offices on Oct 4, 2023. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)
In addition, the government is also actively attracting talents. “Under various talent attraction schemes, the government has received more than 160,000 applications, and more than 100,000 of them have been approved,” Lee said.
“With the unique advantage of ‘one country, two systems’, comprehensive financial services and a trustworthy legal system, Hong Kong makes it convenient for enterprises to enter the mainland and global markets,” Chan said, adding that Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world, where people from all over the world will want to come to work, live, and raise families.
The finance chief added that the strong innovation, commercialization and advanced manufacturing capabilities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will complement Hong Kong. In addition to geographical advantages, Hong Kong also has policy support from the central government to develop into a global innovation and technology hub, he said.
“OASES is still in the preliminary stage. In the future, we hope that more companies will follow the path of these 30 strategic enterprises to settle in Hong Kong,” Chan said.
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