Hong Kong has the responsibilities to develop itself based on a fundamental policy objective of indigenous innovation, using technology and innovation as the primary forces for economic and social development, to match our national policy in prosperity through technology and education, and the strategy to develop China as a talent powerhouse. 6
For years, the ICT sector has complained that Government does not value technology. The word “technology” was removed from the name of the policy bureau in 2007, adding insult to injury. But more importantly, how does our sector reverse years of possible misconception (or rather excuses for only focusing on speculations) such as: Hong Kong's market is too small for ICT , or Hong Kong does not have enough ICT talents , etc.?
In fact, Government has placed no small efforts and investment into ICT infrastructure or even external marketing activities for our sector, but the results remain unsatisfactory. Partly it is because some of these efforts have been misplaced , but moreover, the sector has not been able to come to terms with a clear positioning for our ICT industry. This situation calls for more than mere rhetorics of “aligning the sector” to get the job done.
At a more executional level, there are also areas where Government policies and industry efforts can be focused to improve the business environment for the large number of ICT service companies in Hong Kong, as well as the emerging sub-sectors in, for instance, open source systems, digital entertainment and other streams of the creative industry. In order to define our ICT industry in Hong Kong for the future, I will:
* Propose Government to adopt a scientific, analytic and sustained effort to survey the future of Hong Kong's ICT industry, in relation to regional and global trends and development, through industry forums, academic research and global summits with participation from world ICT leaders – should Hong Kong be positioned to become the gateway to China , or the packaged software distribution market for Asia , or the hub of digital post-production between the China and western markets , or the external gateway of China's software outsourcing industry, and how to get there from here? * Continue to monitor the ICT outsourcing practice by Government, including the Standing Offer Agreement for Quality Professional Services (SOA-QPS) and resolve the problems faced by Government ICT contractors and sub-contractors, such as bidding prices being too low, contractual terms being too stringent (especially those relating to liabilities), relaxation of intellectual property restrictions, etc. * Propose an “e-government solution export scheme” to enlist Government support in promoting Hong Kong-based ICT solutions to various levels of governments in China; * Support ICT products and services export by enlisting the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) to proactively provide more timely market information including major tenders from overseas markets for Hong Kong ICT firms; * Advocate Government to fight for “national treatment” for Hong Kong ICT firms in the Mainland so that they can compete on equal grounds with local firms there, rather than for the Government to come up with piecemeal concessions under CEPA, which are often of little use for Hong Kong ICT firms; * Create a better investment environment for Hong Kong ICT companies, through a series of activities such as the startup bootcamp trainings, introduction of overseas venture capitals through the coordination of, for example, InvestHK, so that local ICT companies with potentials can more readily obtain seed or later rounds of funds as required by their development; * Call for the establishment of an “ICT Adoption Committee” at the Bureau level, with subcommittees divided by sectors, to promote and conduct programs to improve e-commerce and ICT adoption in various critical industries, especially those dominated by SMEs, such as retail and distribution, travel services, NGOs, etc. * Support the policy for the incubation of creative new companies in the areas of digital entertainment, digital content, open source software etc., by adopting a “brand building” strategy, both at the overall Hong Kong level as well as at the level of the individual firms.