Chief Executive Carrie Lam

Sustainable development is central to our future, and innovation is critical to realising sustainability. Innovation and technological advancement are also clear priorities of my Government. Over the past four years, we have invested some US$17 billion in I&T (innovation and technology), and the results are encouraging. Between 2017 and 2021, the number of startups in Hong Kong rose 68%, to a record high of 3,755 this year. Venture capital investment increased from HK$9.2 billion in 2017 to HK$9.9 billion in 2020. And, during the same period, we raised 12 unicorns here in Hong Kong. Several of them were incubated at Cyberport and the Science Park, our two major centres for startup incubation and entrepreneurial development.


Home-grown innovations are also flourishing. In the 2021 Special Edition of the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, Hong Kong won 136 awards, an achievement that topped all past records.


And the future looks even better, thanks to the National 14th Five-Year Plan. The plan not only supports Hong Kong’s rise as an innovation and technology hub, but also backs our ambitions to develop Hong Kong as a regional IP (intellectual property) trading centre. That makes good business sense, given Hong Kong’s strong IP protection regime, efficient IP commercialisation, a sophisticated services sector, as well as sound legal and judicial systems. On top of that, we have strong R&D (research and development) capability, enthusiastic government support and seamless connections to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, a market of some 86 million people. It is therefore no surprise that Hong Kong ranked seventh globally on the criterion of IP rights in the 2021 World Competitiveness Yearbook published by the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland, up five places compared to last year.


Rest assured that my Government will do all we can to capitalise on the support of the 14th Five-Year Plan in developing Hong Kong as a regional IP trading centre. As mentioned in my Policy Address, the Government will implement a series of initiatives to promote IP trading, including further promoting and developing the original grant patent system by building up the substantive examination capability of the Intellectual Property Department, exploring with the Mainland authorities on broadening the scope of application of the Patent Cooperation Treaty to cover the original grant patent system, and extending other major international IP treaties to Hong Kong. We will also strengthen our IP regime and industry talent, while boosting IP promotion and collaboration beyond Hong Kong. Among others, we recently launched the public consultation on amendments to the Copyright Ordinance. The target is to strengthen copyright protection in the digital environment to ensure that our copyright regime keeps up with international developments, while meeting Hong Kong’s social and economic needs.


Chief Executive Carrie Lam delivered this video speech at the Opening Session of the Business of Intellectual Property Asia Forum on December 2.

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