Innovation and technology development and the re-industrialization policy in Hong Kong
Increasing research and development investment
Mr CHAN Chun-ying expressed concern on whether the Government’s goal to double the gross domestic expenditure on R&D (“GERD”) as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) to 1.5% by end of its current term of office could be fulfilled, having regard to the fact that GERD as a percentage of GDP had only risen from 0.74% to 0.86% from 2014 to 2018. Given that Hong Kong’s GERD as a percentage of GDP had lagged behind its regional competitors such as South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore, he suggested the Administration allocate resources to focus on those funding programmes and other initiatives which had prominent results in order to help achieve the above goal. For example, the Administration should consider establishing R&D institutions in areas such as biotechnology which Hong Kong had a competitive edge.
S for IT said that the Administration was committed to achieving the goal of increasing the GERD to 1.5% by 2022, and had witnessed real growth over the past three years. Apart from devoting over HK$100 billion in promoting I&T development, the Administration also introduced a number of I&T support measures, including the two-tiered enhanced tax deduction for qualifying R&D expenditures incurred by enterprises with effect from 1 April 2018, to encourage private enterprises to invest more in R&D activities. Promoting innovation and technology ecosystem
Mr CHAN Chun-ying urged the Administration to review outdated legislation or policies which had been hampering R&D development in order to promote an I&T ecosystem and encourage private I&T investment. Noting that proactive steps should be taken to remove legislative and administrative barriers hampering I&T development,
S for IT said that the high-level inter-departmental Steering Committee on Innovation and Technology chaired by the Chief Executive would review relevant legislation and policies, and implement the necessary changes through the concerted efforts of the bureaux/departments (“B/Ds”) concerned. For example, in order to remove institutional barriers and promote the development of the digital entertainment industry and electronic sports (“e-sports”), the Administration had recently exempted e-sports venues from the licensing requirements under the Amusement Game Centres Ordinance (Cap. 435).