I am delighted to be here with you today, for the Partnership Launching Ceremony of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation & Technology (I&T) Park.

This morning's ceremony is a milestone in the development of the I&T park - one that resonates far beyond the park's reach, along Hong Kong's boundary with Shenzhen.

Some 60 companies and organisations are taking part in today's ceremony. They come from Hong Kong and the Mainland, as well as seven countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and North America. The strategic specialisations they bring to the park - and to Hong Kong - range from life and health technology, to new energy, microelectronics and much more.

These enterprises and enterprising partners will help to attract talent and investment, cultivate industry collaboration, facilitate market access and provide many other services essential to an undertaking as ambitious, and far-reaching, as this one.

With its strategic location in the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Loop, the park will form part of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science & Technology Innovation Co-operation Zone. The loop, as you would know, will become a key area of I&T development that transcends beyond our boundary with the Mainland.

In Hong Kong, the park is within the San Tin Technopole area, which will emerge as our city's largest I&T centre by far - with some 300 hectares supporting Hong Kong's rise as an international I&T hub.

And you have made a good start - we, together, have made this very good start. On that, my thanks to the international partnership signing ceremony today that brings us all together here.

Yes, after years of planning and the hard, smart work of many parties, the park is fast approaching its operational phase. Indeed, two buildings of laboratories and one accommodation building will be completed, progressively, from the end of this year.

More will follow. All of it will integrate with and help drive our national development.

That, of course, begins with Shenzhen and the other cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). The GBA brings together 11 cities in southern China, including Hong Kong and Shenzhen, and has a population of some 86 million. The bay area has a combined GDP (gross domestic product) equivalent to one-ninth of the GDP of our country, which is the world's second largest economy.

The GBA will create new quality productive forces to boost the high-quality development of our country. Inspired by innovation, they include high-tech, high-efficiency and high-quality productivity.

Hong Kong, I am pleased to say, has all it takes to create new quality productive forces. Under the unique “one country, two systems” principle, Hong Kong enjoys the rule of law, a free and enterprising business environment, world-class infrastructure, a robust financial system, as well as established R&D (research and development) capabilities with our world-renowned institutions.

Our prowess not only cultivates a versatile workforce, but also attracts talent from around the world. That, in turn, brings a rising tide of strategic companies, entrepreneurs and startups turning to Hong Kong for their future.

Over the past six months, we have welcomed some 50 high-tech companies from all over the world to Hong Kong, here to establish or expand their businesses. That is thanks to our Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises.

And now, this morning, I am delighted to welcome more of you, here to sign a partnership agreement with the Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park.

Here to become essential, indispensable, to Hong Kong's economy and community - to a flourishing future built on innovation and technology, and a whole lot more.

As Hong Kong prospers with your companies, we will also continue to join hands with Shenzhen, to work out various innovative and cross-boundary facilitation measures for the benefit of our partners in the park, and beyond.

Chief Executive John Lee gave these remarks at the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation & Technology Park Partnership Launching Ceremony on April 18.


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