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HK tech start-ups receive relief measures

The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) announced financial relief measures to aid innovation and technology start-ups and enterprises in Hong Kong.

These measures are in line with the announcement made by the Financial Secretary this August to provide support for businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

HKSTP’s financial relief measures will come as a one-off, a six-month special rental concession at 50% discount to existing tenants in Science Park, InnoCentre and Industrial Estates, covering incubatees, partner companies, RFB (Retail, Food and Beverage) operators and professional services companies.

The rental concession will be capped at 10,000 square feet and will be effective from 1 October 2019 to 31 March 2020, applicable to companies with valid leases during this roll-out period.

The CEO of HKSTP stated that HKSTP is constantly exploring different ways to enhance support for its partner companies and progress the development of the innovation and technology ecosystem in Hong Kong.

It is hoped that with the prompt implementation of the measures, it will ease their operating pressure, provide them with more financial flexibility and help our Park companies stay focused on their R&D work.

Hong Kong Budget supports tech start-ups

Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, in his 2019 Budget speech, stated the development of I&T will bring huge economic benefits to Hong Kong, OpenGov Asia earlier reported.

The intellectual property generated as a result can be commercialised to drive ancillary economic activities, thus creating quality employment opportunities and enabling people to live comfortably by adopting new technology.

To support this, the HKSAR Government has committed over $100 billion so far.

In addition, to develop I&T, Hong Kong will need a robust ecosystem and the Government aims to establish through various I&T policy initiatives.

It will support the scientific research and I&T sectors by developing I&T infrastructure, promoting research and development (R&D), pooling talent, supporting enterprises and promoting re-industrialisation.  All these efforts have brought significant enhancements to the local I&T ecosystem.

Promoting R&D is a key part of the Government’s aims to build Hong Kong into a smart city and aid digital transformation in the region.

The Financial Secretary noted that R&D is the foundation of the development of I&T. To promote local R&D activities, the Government put $10 billion into the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) in 2018 to support the continued operation of existing ITF funding schemes and introduce various new initiatives.

Technology enterprises are essential drivers of a technology-based economy. To encourage more enterprises to engage in R&D in Hong Kong, the Government has provided a two-tiered enhanced tax deduction for eligible R&D expenditure of enterprises incurred after 1 April 2018.

This, in addition to the newest HKSTP relief measures, are sure to spur R&D in Hong Kong tech start-ups.

With this kind of support from the government and other sources, HKSTP’s start-ups are being urged to adopt a risk-taking culture.

OpenGov Asia noted that while the government is investing in hi-tech infrastructure and new funding programmes, local entrepreneurs need to be more ambitious and look beyond short-term business plans, especially now that they have support.

Looking forward, the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and collaboration between Hong Kong and Shenzhen will connect all sectors of innovation and technology industries. This will develop an international I&T hub in the Greater Bay Area.

The immense synergy effects generated by this will provide powerful support for Hong Kong’s I&T ecosystem to thrive.

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