Mr CHAN Chun-ying noted that Cyberport would join the Space Sharing Scheme for Youth (“the Scheme”) to provide some 20 000 square feet of Smart-Space co-working space accommodating around 140 start-ups in Tsuen Wan in the first quarter of 2018 the earliest. The Administration announced in October 2017 that 10 sites had been identified under the Scheme, and operating agencies were being identified for two of these locations in Kwun Tong. Mr CHAN enquired whether Cyberport could also run Smart-Space co-working space at these two sites. Ms Claudia MO also commented that the Scheme could support young entrepreneurs in the innovation and technology (“I&T”) sector.
Government Chief Information Officer (“GCIO”) said that many operating agencies were interested to join the Scheme and to participate in running the co-working space. As for Cyberport, it was its first attempt to launch off-site co-working space outside its campus. With this experience, Cyberport should be better prepared to run more co-working space under the Scheme when the second batch of shared space for youth was rolled out in future.
As regards manpower development in I&T sector in Hong Kong, Mr CHAN Chun-ying suggested that more internship opportunities should be offered to attract overseas students to study technology-related subjects in Hong Kong. Noting that Cyberport offered 55 intern placements among start-ups in the Cyberport community, Mr CHAN commented that Cyberport should expand significantly the scale of this internship programme to benefit more young talents in the I&T sector.
CEO/HKCMCL said that one of the public missions of Cyberport was to groom local I&T talents. To this end, Cyberport had all along collaborated with local universities to enrich their I&T-related programmes, including financial technology (“FinTech”) subjects. Cyberport would step up efforts to increase the number of intern placements as appropriate to inspire more young people to pursue a career in the I&T industry.
Management and financial position of Cyberport
Referring to the financial statements of Cyberport, Mr CHAN Chun-ying noted that despite a loss of HK$77 million in 2016, Cyberport recorded a profit of HK$112 million in 2017 due to a project income of HK$190 million. Mr CHAN enquired whether such income was sustainable and whether Cyberport had engaged professionals to manage its financial assets.
CEO/HKCMCL said that the consolidated financial statements reflected the financial performance of the operation of Cyberport itself, as well as various initiatives implemented by Cyberport. In the past few years, the operating profit before public mission activities expenses and depreciation was around HK$150 million. The financial position of Cyberport was stable and could sustain the projects in pursuit of its public missions.