Published: 00:33, April 12, 2024
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HKSAR’s leap toward a digital tomorrow
By Dominic Lee

In the bustling heart of Asia, a new vision unfolds for Hong Kong, one that seeks to transform the city into a hub of technological innovation. The central government’s national 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) lends its unequivocal backing to this vision, heralding a fresh positioning and mission for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. With the robust support of both the central and the HKSAR governments, we have witnessed an acceleration in the city’s developmental stride, particularly in the cultivation of the digital economy — a realm where Hong Kong’s unique strengths are now meeting unprecedented opportunities.


The digital revolution is reshaping the way we produce, operate businesses, and conceive commercial models. It’s an era in which efficiency and competitiveness are bolstered, and new business prospects are nurtured. In step with these transformative times, the HKSAR government has been vigorously championing the digital economy and the construction of a smart city. A recent policy declaration on data circulation and security has laid the groundwork for robust data governance. Beyond this, plans are afoot to establish a Digital Policy Office to fast-track the development of a digital government infrastructure.

In addition to local efforts, the central government’s support for Hong Kong’s innovation and technology sector has been overwhelming. Not only have Hong Kong residents been given the chance to participate in the country’s manned space missions, but for the first time, payload specialists are being selected directly from Hong Kong. This is a resounding endorsement of the city’s scientific community by the nation. Additionally, Hong Kong has inked pivotal agreements with the Ministry of Science and Technology and other departments to accelerate the establishment of an international innovation and technology center. These agreements, along with multiple cooperative accords with various provinces and cities, are propelling Hong Kong’s integration into the nation’s overall development strategy.

As the city leverages its unique vantage point, it is poised not only to embrace the digital age but to lead it, forging a path that others may follow toward a sustainable and prosperous digital tomorrow

Positioned uniquely as a city that enjoys the motherland’s consistent support while maintaining global connectivity, Hong Kong is primed to become a metropolis of innovation. This is exemplified by the Digital Economy Summit 2024, a hallmark event jointly hosted by the HKSAR government and Cyberport, scheduled for April 12-13 at the Convention and Exhibition Centre and online. This summit will convene global leaders from technology, politics, business, and academia to discuss topics spanning smart cities, the digital economy, intelligent mobility, smart buildings, Web3, new energy and sustainable development. Over two days, extending into the weekend to engage the public, the event will also invite high school and university students on guided tours, instilling in our youth an early connection to the digital economy sector.

This year’s summit, themed “Smarter Technovation for All: Forging a Sustainable Future”, underscores how digital technology can be interwoven with sustainable development. By extending into the weekend, it hopes to involve residents directly, allowing them to grasp the applications of digital technology in both the economy and daily life, and to experience firsthand the benefits of the digital economy. Artificial intelligence, a focus of the summit, is expected to drive advanced production technologies and foster industry exchange, thus enhancing Hong Kong’s productive capabilities.

It is also important to note that the digital economy is not just a trend but a driving force in the global economic narrative. Looking ahead, a collaborative synergy between government, industry, academia and research should be strengthened. By nurturing talent, advancing technology applications, and enhancing public awareness, we can propel the growth of the digital economy. These efforts will open new business and investment opportunities, positioning Hong Kong as a leading smart city and digital financial center, contributing to the nation’s needs.

Hong Kong’s journey toward this sustainable digital future is more than a strategic move; it is a commitment to innovation, a pledge to the city’s youth, and a cornerstone for a thriving, tech-led economy. As the city leverages its unique vantage point, it is poised not only to embrace the digital age but to lead it, forging a path that others may follow toward a sustainable and prosperous digital tomorrow.

The author is the convener at China Retold, a member of the Legislative Council, and a member of the Central Committee of the New People’s Party.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.