(From left) Wong Yuk-shan, chairman of the Research Grants Council; Joseph Yam Chi-kwong, Executive Council member and economist; and Nancy Ip Yuk-yu, vice-president for Research and Development at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, meet the media after a talk on the National 14th Five-Year Plan organized by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Aug 23, 2021. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)
Hong Kong scientists and researchers are urged to actively take part in national innovation and technology projects as the nation highlighted the industry in its 14th Five-Year Plan.
After attending a 2.5-hour talk in Hong Kong Monday morning on the national blueprint delivered by a high-level delegation from the central government, Wong Yuk-shan, chairman of the Research Grants Council, said the nation's 14th Five-Year plan has emphasized innovation and technology, to which Hong Kong scientists can contribute.
The country has increased its investment in technology every year and the total input has reached 2.4 percent of the country's GDP, according to Wong.
Nancy Ip Yuk-yu, vice-president for Research and Development at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said she believes Hong Kong, with its strong basic research capability, could complement the strengths of the mainland cities in the Greater Bay Area to help realize the goal of the national development
He believes the figure will continue to grow and there will be supporting policies and mechanisms put in place for cultivating talents, and innovation and technology development. Beijing, Shanghai, and the Greater Bay Area also will evolve into world inno-tech hubs in the future, he said.
These are all important opportunities for Hong Kong as the city's research and development ability is gaining recognition from the central government, Wong said, encouraging the city's scientists to actively take part in national projects.
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The 16 national key laboratories in Hong Kong have actively used various beneficial policies in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and promote exchanges and cooperation between the two places, Wong said.
These collaborations have been extended to more university departments. Meanwhile, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation is hosting more mainland research institutes, which are believed to enhance the international influence of the region, he added.
Nancy Ip Yuk-yu, vice-president for Research and Development at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said she believes Hong Kong, with its strong basic research capability, could complement the strengths of the mainland cities in the Greater Bay Area to help realize the goal of the national development.
The renowned neuroscientist added the city's scientific community was eager to take on more science and technology tasks under the 14th Five-Year Plan and contribute to national development.
Salina Yan Mei-mei, permanent secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury (Financial Services), said the elaboration of the national plan by central government officials enabled the Hong Kong government and the financial sector to better position itself in better grasping new opportunities.
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She thanked the central government for the firm policy support to Hong Kong in the financial field, including enhancing its status as an international financial center, sustaining its role as a global offshore renminbi business hub, an international asset management center and a risk management center.
Executive Council member and economist Joseph Yam Chi-kwong told the press that Hong Kong must seize the opportunities arising from the 14th Five-Year Plan and plays a meaningful and sustainable role in national development since the offer could not be forever available with the nation's constant development.
With China's continuous opening-up, Hong Kong's status as an international financial center risks being marginalized, he said.
For now, however, there is still room for Hong Kong to play a significant role as an intermediary and facilitator between the mainland and the rest of the world.
He highlighted the need for Hong Kong to play to its strength in the further internationalization of the use of the renminbi in the capital market, particularly in its stock market. For example, Hong Kong's stock market could quote renminbi as an alternative to Hong Kong dollars in price quotes, transactions, and settlements, allowing investors to decide which currency to use in share trading.