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HK smart city development relies on tech infrastructure

A report notes that Hong Kong’s development of its technology infrastructure will be a key factor in its development as a smart city by 2030, according to 47% of executives who were polled in a recent survey.

The survey, analyses the steps to help optimise Hong Kong’s development as a smart city and was published by KPMG China.

The survey investigates the internal and external factors playing a part in the smart city transformation over the coming decade, and the roles that effective governance, smart infrastructure and innovation can play in addressing key urban challenges.

During this time frame, respondents identified the following as top priorities for enabling Hong Kong’s smart city development:

  • Future-focused government regulation and policy (48%);
  • Development of technology infrastructure (47%);
  • Public and private sector support for innovation and the start-up ecosystem (38%);
  • Access to qualified talent/workforce (34%); and
  • Hong Kong’s liveability and amenities (30%).

For Hong Kong to realise its smart city goals, the city needs to pay attention to having a workforce that is fit for the future.

Corporates and schools should team up to identify these skills and help develop them in students at an earlier age, he noted.

If corporates want to help students grow and become more innovative, and ultimately develop talent with the right skills, they need to get involved a lot more at a junior level.

Survey respondents comprised 430 executives from business, not-for-profit organisations, government and academic institutions. Of those who were polled, 64% have been working in Hong Kong for more than 10 years and 71% of the companies were headquartered there.

According to another article, tapping into regional opportunities has seen organisations actively invest in research and development (R&D), while also leveraging mainland China and ASEAN countries as investment destinations and to meet their talent needs.

Seventy-five per cent of respondents have a plan to increase R&D investment in the coming year, while 53 per cent plan to make Hong Kong their priority area, rising to 60 per cent among start-ups.

They are also capitalising on Hong Kong’s position as a regional business hub, with mainland China and Macau SAR mentioned top targets for R&D investment in the next 12 months for corporates and SMEs, at 53 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively.

One expert noted that alongside connectivity, R&D investment is a catalyst for GDP growth due to the increased productivity it creates.

While the government has set a target to increase spending, a continued long-term focus in this area will need to be maintained.

Looking at their organisations, 62 per cent said that access to a qualified workforce was most critical to the goal of being a smart city in a decade.

Talent was being particularly important by corporates with 73 per cent of these organisations citing it as their top priority.

Respondents consider providing training to ensure their staff have the right skills as being just as important, if not more so than investing in new technology itself.

Three-quarters of survey respondents plan to increase specialised training in digital technologies, broadly in line with the proportion planning to increase investment in technology.

Respondents see mainland China, particularly the nine mainland China cities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), as well as ASEAN countries as important sources to fill local talent gaps.

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