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High-tech tie-ups the way forward

LOOKING ahead to the future, potential areas of collaboration between Hong Kong and Singapore companies include the areas of financial technology (fintech), green technology and other high technology startups.

The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) said: "Today, global tech-related companies ranging from start-ups to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to multinationals are finding new opportunities in Asia as governments around the region focus on developing smart and sustainable cities for the future.

"Hong Kong is the ideal springboard to new markets, thanks to its close proximity to Mainland China, including the technology manufacturing hub of Shenzhen, its robust legal system and protection of intellectual property."

HKETO pointed out that the HKSAR government is also keeping pace with the rapidly changing technology landscape, setting up a new Innovation and Technology Bureau in 2015, and identifying the new central business district of Kowloon East as a smart city pilot area with state-of-the-art solutions for urban development.

Other government-led initiatives include expanding Hong Kong's Science Park and supporting it to build additional research and development centres and other facilities.

Earlier this year, the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) received delegations from Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A*Star) and the Economic Development Board.

With both cities striving for excellence in driving technological innovation and recognised as key players in fintech development, the visiting teams had a deep and meaningful discussion exchanging views and experiences. The visit is expected to facilitate stronger collaboration between Hong Kong and Singapore in technology development.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is also promoting smart finance through its new FinTech Facilitation Office. And to capitalise on its strong China connections advantage, Hong Kong is collaborating with its neighbouring city of Shenzhen to develop the Lok Ma Chau Loop into a new "Silicon Valley".

All this makes Hong Kong a smart choice for future-ready technopreneurs. Green technology is increasingly becoming a part of daily life in Hong Kong, from energy-saving devices and electric vehicles to large-scale projects such as the District Cooling System in Kai Tak Development and the world-leading T-PARK sludge treatment facility, which is one of the most technologically advanced facilities of its kind in the world.

Hong Kong is also home to world-class universities and close to 2,000 startups, and as such is ranked one of the top five fastest growing startup ecosystems in the world.

Finally, Hong Kong is also an excellent place to extract value from the financial markets. As China's markets continue to open up, the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect and the mutual recognition of funds arrangement have provided global investors unprecedented access to the Mainland's capital markets and vice versa.

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