Internet economy spurs HK's growth
Updated: 2018-04-04 07:34
By Edith Lu in Hong Kong(HK Edition)
SAR govt is making itself ready for new digital age, info chief reveals
The fast-developing internet economy is creating values and a new impetus for Hong Kong's growth through digital transformation and giving muscle to young entrepreneurs, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer told China Daily in an interview.
According to the office, innovative digital solutions and online platforms have empowered companies to do more with less work, providing inspiration for new business models and allowing low-cost investment.
Government Chief Information Officer Allen Yeung believes that by using fintech to augment the financial sector, it will also stimulate technological inventions and develop the innovation and technology industry as a new economic pillar. Parker Zheng / China Daily
"It's a phenomenon we cannot ignore - the internet economy is growing faster than the traditional economy," said Government Chief Information Officer Allen Yeung.
"Almost every industry sector is undergoing digital transformation now, including city management. Such a transformation is very critical for businesses. We hope to use the Internet Economy Summit as a platform to share with, and make all sectors prepared. As the SAR government, we are making ourselves ready as depicted by the recently published Smart City Blueprint."
The office released the "Smart City Blueprint 1.0" last December, covering more than 70 measures over the next five years. Yeung believed that new technology might bring new and more efficient solutions for Hong Kong's problems. He would be delighted to learn from the experience of other places during the summit that could be adapted for the "Smart City Blueprint 2.0."
The current blueprint is aimed at transforming and strengthening the Hong Kong SAR's economy through innovation and technology. It argues that developing fintech will reinforce financial services - one of the city's pillar industries and an essential part of the local economy.
Yeung described fintech and the internet economy as "very interrelated". He believes that by using fintech to augment the financial sector, it will also stimulate technological inventions and develop the innovation and technology industry as a new economic pillar.
"We're seeing an expanding financial services sector. The whole playing field is changing. The sector is trying to upgrade itself and there'll be new ones ready to mount a challenge," he said.
Yeung said the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has been luring new players to the local banking sector by granting new licenses, while existing banks are ready to offer banking services through the internet or other electronic delivery channels.
He sees the new generation of budding entrepreneurs as another key impetus for the new economy. Many homegrown startups have won clients beyond Hong Kong through their digital platforms.
Last year, Hong Kong's intra-city logistics platform GoGoVan merged with 58 Suyun - one of the Chinese mainland's leading freight and delivery service providers - to seek more opportunities on the mainland. Since its inception in 2013, GoGoVan has grown rapidly over the years, expanding to overseas markets like Singapore, South Korea and India.
Yeung also dismissed talk that Hong Kong talents looking for greener pastures on the mainland would lead to a "brain drain" from the city.
"It's not a zero-sum game. I believe that when they want to grow outside of the mainland market, Hong Kong is a perfect place for them to scale the global ladder. If we look at it from the long-term perspective, they'll be back," he said.
(HK Edition 04/04/2018 page15)