Message from OHKF President - November 2020
Innovation and Integration: Key to Our Future
Innovation and integration are a key theme in our country’s 14th Five-Year Plan and also in the Chief Executive’s 2020 Policy Address. In this key theme, we see renewed hope for Hong Kong. We also feel an intense sense of mission to do our utmost for a better Hong Kong.
With our country’s strategic direction of integrating Hong Kong into the nation’s development, we should leverage our unique strengths to innovate and create, and proactively contribute to the country’s further opening-up and transformation. This is the calling of our time.
The Foundation is pleased to see that the Policy Address has included a number of policy initiatives that we have been advocating. On the reform of Liberal Studies, a number of new initiatives proposed in the Foundation’s Liberal Studies Report were taken up, such as changing the grading system to Pass or Fail, substantiating key concepts in the curriculum, the vetting of teaching materials, and improving teachers’ training.
Art Tech, to which the Chief Executive has devoted an entire section, echoes well with the Foundation’s recommendations set out in our Arts Tech Report published earlier this year. Art Tech will be a creator of creative cultural jobs.
The Foundation is encouraged to see that the HKSAR Government’s commitment to meeting the ten-year public housing demand projections. We look to the Government to act on its stated intent to expedite the bureaucratic process on public housing so that it can deliver with high efficiency on what have been on the drawing board for many years.
We are heartened by the Government’s firm commitment to the Lantau Tomorrow Vision project and its strategy of infrastructure-led land development with emphasis on Northern Link and Tuen Mun West projects. Relying just on fragmented site rezoning is clearly not enough.
Other policy initiatives that the Chief Executive is pressing ahead and which the Foundation has been advocating include enhancing Applied Education, and deepening technological collaborations in the GBA. We are pleased that our policy research output and advocacy efforts have borne fruit that would benefit our city immensely.
Turning to our areas of concern, we observed that Hong Kong universities have excelled in basic research, but technology transfer remains a weak link. Local institutions can be more effective in transforming the ‘treasures’ of scientific research outcomes into products and services. On 9 November, the OHKF launched the latest SciTech Innovation Research Report entitled Building the Technology Bridge for Scientific Breakthroughs: Developing an Innovation Hub of the Future. Mr Alfred Sit, Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government, gave the opening address as our Guest of Honour, with renowned experts Professor Dennis Lo, Professor Kam Fai Wong, and Dr Frank Tong sharing their insights in a panel discussion. The Report puts forward seven policy recommendations to foster a culture of technology transfer, optimise investment in research, develop infrastructure, and strengthen the technology transfer capabilities of local universities. The aim is to create a vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem.
On 23 November, we are honoured to have Financial Secretary Mr Paul Chan as the feature speaker for the 11th ‘INSIGHT FORUM’ webinar, entitled ‘Visionary Innovation and Reform: Exploring the New Era of Digital and Green Finance’. Envisioning Hong Kong’s growth as an international digital financial hub, the Financial Secretary sketched a blueprint for Hong Kong to leverage the opportunities brought by China’s central bank digital currency initiatives. Always setting his eyes on the future, the Financial Secretary highlighted the needs to implement a low-carbon economy and green finance. You can view the full webinar here.
The Foundation organised the first ‘Public Policy Fireside Chat’ webinar on 17 November, and invited a panel of experts to explore ‘Rising Out of the Pandemic’s Economic Fallout’ and share the prospects of an economic rebound under the pandemic. Professor Richard Wong from The University of Hong Kong, called for the relaunch of an optimised version of the ‘Tenants Purchase Scheme’ for public housing. He expected the Scheme to bring HK$4 trillion that will help create jobs, support enterprises, reactivate economic activities, and boost the public coffers. View the full webinar here.
Over the past month, 47 interns under OHKF Internship Programme have gained deeper insight into sustainable development, smart city, and public policy formulation by conducting interviews with District Council members and citizens, and presented respective study findings. Visits to the Hong Kong Science Park, Cyberport, and Smart Government Innovation Lab also deepened their knowledge of Hong Kong’s technology development.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law. The Academy of Chinese Studies has launched a ‘Basic Law’ learning kit to aid the teaching and learning of the topic in schools. Phase one of the learning kit ‘One Country, Two Systems’ traces Hong Kong’s development since ancient time to underscore its roots as an inalienable part of China.
In October, Hong Kong Chronicles Institute was privileged to receive generous financial support from 43 business and community organisations. They will be acknowledged in the first book of the Chronicles series. We are pleased that in the Policy Address, the Government expressed its full support for the Chronicles project.
Please take care and stay healthy amid signs of a resurgence of Covid-19 pandemic!
Our Hong Kong Foundation