Hong Kong to attract overseas talent and boost status as leading international tech startup hub with new business opportunities in Greater Bay Area
On Wednesday 6 October, the HKSAR Government (the Government) presented “The Chief Executive’s Policy Address 2021”, which outlined its long-term vision of further integration into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and the many benefits that this brings to the Hong Kong startup economy. With the region drawing global attention as a fast-developing innovation and technology hub that offers exciting opportunities to startups from around the world, the city is well positioned as an important gateway to this vibrant and evolving regional ecosystem, while also attracting top international talent. The opportunities will be explored further by InvestHK (the Foreign Direct Investment arm of the Government and sponsor of Web Summit) in two Masterclass sessions at Web Summit on 2 November 2021.
The Policy Address also highlighted Invest HK’s annual startup survey results, revealing the number of startups in Hong Kong has increased 12% from 2020 to 3,755. The following initiatives outline how the city plans to continue this growth trend:
Expansion of the ‘Quality Migrant Admission Scheme’ and Talent List
The Government recognises that proactively attracting international talent is a vital element of maintaining the business gains and continued growth of startup development in Hong Kong. Key updates in the Policy Address that look to achieve this include doubling the annual quota under its ‘Quality Migrant Admission Scheme’ to 4000, and the expanding its Talent List professions to include experts in the sectors of medical and healthcare sciences, microelectronics, integrated circuit design and arts technology.
Setup of InnoLife Healthtech Hub to pool research strengths
Leveraging Hong Kong’s strengths in the life and health sciences sector, while also helping startups in the field take a firm grasp of the market potential across the GBA, the Government announced the ‘InnoLife Healthtech Hub’ in the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park (HSITP) located in Lok Ma Chau Loop (the Loop). The hub will consist of 16 life and health-related laboratories in the InnoHK research cluster and eight State Key Laboratories specialising in life and health disciplines such as Artificial Intelligence and robotics as the basis, to focus on related research work.
InnoExpress to stimulate growth in Hong Kong’s I&T sector
To deepen the collaboration between Hong Kong and Shenzhen while simultaneously stimulating growth in the I&T sector, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Cooperation (HKSTPC) will establish the GBA InnoExpress to nurture startups and their talent, providing business development and investment matching support to I&T enterprises. The initiative aims to help startups go global, as well as attract foreign investment by encouraging more corporations and investors to support the city’s I&T development.
“Despite the social and economic challenges faced by Hong Kong over the past two years, our startup scene has flourished, with both international and local startups setting up in the city and successfully expanding. To continue this upward trend, attracting quality talent in areas such as I&T is key. Deeper collaboration throughout the Greater Bay Area is one of the ways in which Hong Kong will achieve this, and we look forward to helping startups, under InvestHK’s StartmeupHK initiative, capitalise on the many opportunities the region has to offer,” said Jayne Chan, Head of InvestHK.
Platforms to connect world-leading startup founders, investors, and multinationals
Hong Kong is home to many international MICE events that provide a platform for businesses to connect and share ideas. Earlier in September, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and Web Summit also announced that RISE, one of the world’s most influential tech events, will return to the city in March 2022. This further highlights Hong Kong’s thriving startup economy, leading position in innovation and technology, as well as its status as an international tech startup hub.
About Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK)
Invest Hong Kong is the department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government responsible for attracting foreign direct investment and supporting overseas and Mainland businesses to set up or expand in Hong Kong. It provides free advice and customised services for overseas and Mainland companies. For more information, please visit www.investhk.gov.hk.
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Link to Web Summit 2021 Press Release