Financial Secretary Paul Chan Outlines Future Path for Hong Kong’s Digital Economy

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Outlines Future Path for Hong Kong’s Digital Economy

by April 16, 2024

During the Perspective and Vision Forum at the Digital Economy Summit 2024, Financial Secretary Paul Chan provided an in-depth look into the commitment of Hong Kong to accelerating its digital economy.

His speech outlined several strategic initiatives aimed at integrating advanced technologies across diverse sectors, bolstering both the competitiveness and operational efficiency of the city.

Paul ChanHong Kong Digital Economy

Paul Chan

Paul highlighted the establishment of the Digital Economic Development Committee, which was created to spearhead the transition of Hong Kong into a leading digital economy.

This committee, comprising industry experts, scholars, and government officials, has fostered digital transformation across industries.

Their work has resulted in 12 core recommendations to the government aimed at improving digital infrastructure, digital transformation strategies, and talent development.

Paul’s speech’s key focus was enhancing Hong Kong’s digital infrastructure. Initiatives such as developing an artificial intelligence supercomputing centre and the Corporate Digital Identity system rollout are set to significantly bolster business operations and data security.

Additionally, the introduction of the Digital Transformation Support Pilot Programme is designed to assist small and medium-sized enterprises in adopting digital technologies, particularly in the catering and retail sectors, which is expected to benefit at least 8,000 eligible businesses.

Looking forward, Paul discussed the planned establishment of a Digital Policy Office by mid-year, which will be crucial in formulating and implementing policies for the digital economy and smart city development.

This office will also oversee the enhancement of data governance and updating relevant laws to keep pace with technological advances.

Paul also addressed the need to facilitate local and cross-border data flows, which are essential for the efficiency of financial services and business expansion.

The success of initiatives such as Business Data Connect has demonstrated significant potential, facilitating over 13,000 loan applications with a total value of nearly HK$12 billion by the end of last year.

Emphasising the importance of a balanced regulatory approach, Paul noted that regulation should neither stifle innovation nor compromise the stability and trust in the financial system. He advocated for a regulatory environment that encourages innovation while maintaining the financial system’s integrity.

In his concluding remarks, Paul reinforced the commitment to leveraging digital transformation to sustain Hong Kong’s position as an international finance and innovation centre.

He stressed the importance of public-private collaboration and the strategic use of Hong Kong’s unique advantages under “one country, two systems” to attract international data and technology enterprises.

Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik