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Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia Foster Tech Cooperation

Image Credits: HKSTP, Press Release
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The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and a Saudi-focused investment institution partnered to welcome the visit of the Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and his delegation to Hong Kong.

The MCIT’s visit to Hong Kong follows a visit by a delegation from Hong Kong, led by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR, to Saudi in February 2023. At the LEAP 2023 event hosted by the MCIT in Riyadh, the Chief Executive delivered a speech and witnessed the establishment of the Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneurs Association (SCEA). Since then, Hong Kong-Saudi relations have strengthened.

During his visit to Hong Kong, the MCIT met with the Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR, the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, the CEO of HKSTP, as well as the CEO of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX).

During the event, several companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Saudi-focused investment institution. This signified their interest in entering the Saudi market and participating in the Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneurs Association (SCEA).

Following the signing ceremony, the Director General of SCEA and the Founding Managing Partner of eWTPA, announced the establishment of SCEA’s first Asia chapter in Hong Kong. SCEA is a non-profit organisation supported by the MCIT and the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones.

Since its establishment in February 2023, SCEA has attracted over 100 members, including many enterprises based in Hong Kong. The launch of the Hong Kong chapter aims to foster connections among the business communities in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Saudi Arabia.

The Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR emphasised that there exist significant prospects for collaboration in the field of technology and innovation between Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia. Specifically, the Chief Executive highlighted the vast opportunities available for technology companies, startups, and talented individuals within the Greater Bay Area (GBA) market.

The Chief Executive welcomed counterparts from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, encouraging their participation in the endeavour to shape an innovative future within the thriving tech ecosystem of Hong Kong.

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia expressed that the occasion signifies a significant milestone in the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong. The Minister emphasised the importance of jointly exploring new frontiers in technology and innovation, while also creating substantial opportunities for Hong Kong’s technology enterprises within the Kingdom.

This collaborative effort aims to strengthen bilateral exchanges, boost economic development, and foster a future of cooperation and collaboration between the two entities, particularly in the realm of technology.

The Chairman of HKSTP highlighted the current era as a pivotal time in the relationship between Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia, where both markets possess complementary value. Emphasising the unique platform provided by HKSTP, the Chairman highlighted its role in leveraging Hong Kong’s status as an international hub for research, innovation, and finance to support technology ventures.

By bridging research, commercialisation, and finance, HKSTP facilitates the growth of Park companies within Hong Kong and their expansion into the Saudi Arabian market. The Chairman stressed that enhanced collaboration, understanding, and partnership between the two markets would bring mutual benefits for the advancement of innovation and technology.

The Director General of SCEA and the Founding Managing Partner of the Saudi-focused investment institution expressed their belief in Hong Kong’s pivotal role in fostering technological and economic collaboration between China and Saudi Arabia.

Hong Kong’s potential as a bridge connecting the two countries was highlighted. SCEA aims to facilitate the establishment of Saudi Arabia’s leading financial and technology companies in Hong Kong, contributing to the country’s economic diversification efforts aligned with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Additionally, they expressed their aspiration to enable companies from both countries to be listed on the stock exchanges of Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong, fostering greater financial integration and investment opportunities.

The delegation had the opportunity to witness the innovative prowess of Science Park tech ventures, which included presentations from local startups and notable winners of the Elevator Pitch Competition (EPiC), such as Archireef Limited and Skyland Innovation Company Limited.

The delegation also received a tour of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), located at the Hong Kong Institute of Science & Innovation Chinese Academy of Sciences. CAIR is an InnoHK research centre situated within Hong Kong Science Park.

Apart from Hong Kong-based companies venturing into the Middle East, positive discussions were held regarding the facilitation of Saudi companies establishing a presence in Hong Kong and potentially listing on the city’s stock exchanges. Furthermore, there were talks about enabling Saudi investors to access opportunities in China, highlighting the potential for mutually beneficial collaboration and investment between the two regions.

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