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It matters where you are. Hong Kong's natural territorial assets in our location are the envy of others – as the center of East Asia, and a gateway to China and the proximity to the Pearl River Delta. Clearly many people including ICT professionals want to live here because the community is unique and inspiring to them. Our successful telecommunications liberalization has also obviously been aided by Hong Kong's territory assets.
Going forward, how does ICT maximize its territory asset within Hong Kong ? I will propose two major directions. First, a number of important ICT infrastructure projects have been built in the last decade, and some new projects may be on the horizon, but the support for these projects including transportation have been insufficient and needs to be improved. Second, ICT should be fully utilized from the initial planning stages to enliven these and other location assets in Hong Kong, including new major projects like the West Kowloon Cultural District to heritage zones like the Central Police Station Complex.
In the first regard, the transportation arrangements for Cyberport and the Hong Kong Science Park truly leave a lot to be desired. There is insufficient services by the franchised bus companies, and even the existing services focused too much on normal commute time, making it ironic that ICT workers must stick to a 9 to 6 schedule, which is very uncharacteristic for creative professionals. In the Hong Kong Science Park, franchised buses stop also running before the trains every night. The MTR south line extension stop at Cyberport is delayed into the second phase of construction.
As we are currently discussing the use of the Lok Ma Chau Loop region, possibly for the development of a high technology industrial zone, these support services issues faced by the other technology infrastructure projects before must be taken into consideration from the initial planning stages, while I support the establishment of the fourth phase of the Science Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop. Sufficient linkage must be set up so that this project can bring much needed benefits to the residents and local economy in Northern New Territories.
Looking beyond ICT-oriented projects, ICT must be taken as a prime consideration for future development from the West Kowloon Cultural District to the new Government headquarters in Tamar, and also other heritage projects around Hong Kong. As an example, Internet Society Hong Kong played a role in bringing Wi-Fi connectivity and applications into the Central Police Station Complex, when it was opened for the public in Spring 2008. In summary, I will:
* Consult the community at Cyberport and Hong Kong Science Park and lobby the Transport Department, franchised bus companies etc. to improve the transportation arrangements in these facilities, and to urge the Government to expedite the construction of the Cyberport extension of the MTR south line; * Support the development of the Lok Ma Chau Loop region for high technology development, in particular as the fourth phase of the Hong Kong Science Park; * Organize ICT community town hall meetings to formulate inputs to Government about the use of ICT technologies and applications for new major development projects in Hong Kong; * Maximize the benefits for Hong Kong's ICT sector through the development of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation Circle concept, making it more approachable and beneficial for more ICT firms in Hong Kong, to take advantage of the territory asset of Shenzhen; * Continue to push for the establishment of the Pearl River Delta Telecommunications Special Zone, where Hong Kong telecommunications operators can provide services to all customers, or at least Hong Kong firms, so that the market for these firms can be expanded, and better one-stop services can be provided to customers with cross-border requirements.