Speeches and Presentations

SCED visits leading high-tech enterprises in Silicon Valley

Hong Kong is firmly committed to promoting innovation and technology, with a multi-pronged strategy devised to create a business environment conducive to Hong Kong's development into a regional technology services hub.

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, said this while addressing a Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Summit in San Jose, USA, today (June 4, San Jose time), during which she invited more than 400 participants at the summit in Silicon Valley to capitalise on Hong Kong's advantages for their China business.

"The vision is that Hong Kong will develop into an innovation-led, technology-intensive economy in the 21st century, serving the region not only as a business centre, but also as a centre for the development and commercialisation of innovative ideas and technology," Mrs Lau said at the summit organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in San Francisco.

Noting that Hong Kong enjoys the unique advantage of being situated at the heart of the Pearl River Delta region of southern China - one of the most economically active and fastest growing regions in the world, she said that the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between Hong Kong and Mainland China enabled companies to carry out high value manufacturing and processing in Hong Kong with the assurance of intellectual property rights protection while enjoying tariff-free access to the Mainland market.

"With the Mainland moving towards 'autonomous innovation' and having ambitions in a wide range of technological advancements, Hong Kong has an active role to play in the Mainland's technological development," Mrs Lau said.

She cited the DuPont project - a flagship project under the Shenzhen Hong Kong Innovation Circle launched by the governments of the two cities to promote strategic collaboration on sharing and utilising of science and technology resources for regional innovation activities.

"With the success of the DuPont project, we are confident that in the near future more and more such major companies will decide to step up their R&D presence in Hong Kong," Mrs Lau said.

Also speaking at the summit were Dr Steven Freilich, Chief Technology Officer, DuPont Electronics and Communication Technologies Platform; Mr Noel Lee, Head Monster, Monster Cable Products; Dr Chi-Foon Chan, President and Chief Operating Officer, Synopsys; Mr Eddy Chan, Commissioner for Innovation and Technology; Mr Anthony Tan, CEO, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp and Mr Simon Galpin, Director-General, Invest Hong Kong.

Apart from officiating at the summit, Mrs Lau also visited the Sun Power Corporation, a NASDAQ listed company which designs, manufactures and delivers high-performance solar electric systems worldwide, as well as the Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials at Stanford University -a multidisciplinary establishment engaged in a broad spectrum of scientific research in advanced materials including thin film and nanotech.

While at Stanford University, Mrs Lau took the chance to have an exchange with students. She encouraged them to come to Hong Kong for visits, internships, student exchanges and career development, noting that Hong Kong remains an attractive place for those looking for international and Mainland exposure.

She concluded the second day of her visit to west coast USA with a dinner with members of the Committee of 100, to update them on the latest investment environment and business opportunities in Hong Kong and exchange views on the outlook for the US economy.

Yesterday she visited the Microsoft headquarters in Seattle and had a meeting with its General Manager of Worldwide Industry (Government), Mr Matt Miszewski. She also had a lunch meeting with Washington Lieutenant Governor, Mr Brad Owen; the Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Mr David Tang; the Chairman of the National US Hong Kong Business Association, Mr Benjamin Lee; the President of the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle, Mr William Stafford, and local dignitaries in Seattle.

She will continue her visit in San Francisco tomorrow.

Friday, June 5, 2009