Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu attends a ceremony in Beijing on March 15, 2023 for the signing of a cooperation agreement between the HKSAR government and China's Ministry of Science and Technology on accelerating the development of Hong Kong as an international innovation and technology center. (XUE JINGQI / CHINA DAILY)
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region signed a new arrangement with the Ministry of Science and Technology on Wednesday to deepen cross-boundary collaboration in a wide range of areas, taking a big leap forward in the city’s goal to become a world-class scientific-innovation hub.
The accord, covering cooperation in research, resources sharing, commercialization of scientific research achievements and personnel exchanges between the SAR and the Chinese mainland, is a major outcome of Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu’s ongoing week-long visit to Beijing to call on various central ministries.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang said Hong Kong, as a key hub in the global innovation network, has all along been on an important mission in China’s opening-up, and has played an indispensable role in the country’s innovation system
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang said Hong Kong, as a key hub in the global innovation network, has all along been on an important mission in the nation’s opening-up, and has played an indispensable role in the country’s innovation system.
President Xi Jinping has attached great importance to Hong Kong’s science and technology development, having reiterated the central government’s support for, and expectations of the city becoming a global scientific innovation center during his inspection visit to the SAR last year, Wang said.
He believes the latest agreement will accelerate Hong Kong’s pace to become an international inno-tech hub and help it play a greater role in the nation’s efforts to be self-reliant in advanced science and technology.
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The minister pledged to further support the SAR in taking part in national strategies with its unique advantages, and integrate into the country’s innovation system. The ministry will help more Hong Kong scientists to deeply participate in major international science programs, including the action plan of promoting the sci-tech development of member countries and regions of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Hong Kong is also expected to fully leverage its extensive connections to build an international communication platform for advanced technologies and gather top talents in the area, Wang said.
Hailing the new collaboration pact as having begun a new stage in cross-boundary sci-tech collaboration, Lee said the SAR is making all-out efforts to develop science and technology innovation to inject fresh momentum into the city's economic development.
Lee thanked the central government’s staunch support for Hong Kong’s science and technology development. He highlighted a slew of favorable policies, such as allowing Hong Kong researchers to participate in various national projects; sharing the mainland’s large-scale scientific research devices with Hong Kong; and allowing Hong Kong science institutions’ branches on the mainland to independently apply for importing human genetic resources to Hong Kong for research purposes.
China's Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang and other Chinese mainland officials on March 15, 2023 attend a meeting on cross-boundary scientific-innovation collaboration in Beijing, capital of China. (XUE JINGQI / CHINA DAILY)
Since 2018, the central government has allowed Hong Kong’s scientific institutions to directly apply for the nation’s research and development funds. Under this policy, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the local authorities in Guangdong province have approved more than 340 million yuan ($49.4 million) in funds for Hong Kong universities and research institutes since February 2021.
The HKSAR's Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu and China's Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang on March 15, 2023 sign an agreement to deepen cross-border innovation-technology cooperation in Beijing, capital of China. (XUE JINGQI / CHINA DAILY)
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As Hong Kong moves from governance to prosperity, Lee pledged the SAR government will spare no efforts in turning the city into an influential global hub for scientific and technology innovation, and make greater contributions to the nation’s goal to become a major sci-tech powerhouse in the world.
Hong Kong Special Adminstrative Region Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu is on the stage at Guoyi Hotel, Beijing, capital of China on March 15, 2023. (XUE JINGQI / CHINA DAILY)
Lee, accompanied by principal HKSAR government officials, began his visit to Beijing on Monday, calling on various central ministries and Hong Kong entrepreneurs in the capital. The delegation will visit the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the General Administration of Customs and the Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday afternoon.