In regards to the first ever government blueprint for setting up a smart city here in Hong Kong, the DAB believes that this is a breakthrough for the Hong Kong tech innovation industry. The blueprint plots out many short, medium and long term plans over the next five years, including the use of big data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Internet of Vehicles” (IoV) to solve traffic, medical and environmental problems in a realistic manner. The blueprint took up many of our proposals and therefore the DAB expresses its approval of this document. Should the plans come to be implemented fully, this blueprint is definitely an excellent policy.
In terms of the various points in the blueprint, we feel that the biggest issue is getting the various parts of the government to cooperate. This requires high-level coordination and in regards to the Chief Executive indicating her willingness to chair the innovation and technology committee to implement the blueprint, the DAB feels that she is doing well by proactively leading from the front on this issue. The only thing that worries us is that some of the projects outlined in the blueprint won’t be implemented until 2020 or later in which case it may be too late in her tenure, so we really hope that the blueprint can be implemented as quickly as possible. In regards to the six specific measures outlined in the blueprint, the DAB has the following response:
In terms of Smart Mobility, we hope that the new tech will help solve the issues of traffic congestion, insufficient parking spots, public transport going the wrong way or losing services, etc. In regard of real-time parking vacancy information, we propose that the government encourage the parking lot industry to set up an electronic parking information system encourage private car parks to share vacant parking spaces with concessions or legislative measures so that motorists can receive relevant information quickly. The government plans to install 1200 traffic detectors along all strategic roads by 2020 instead of working with the current platform that provides real-time traffic information. The DAB has some reservations on this.
In terms of Smart Living, the government should quickly set up some foundational facilities to turn Hong Kong into a smart city in good time. These include continuing to upgrade the speed and safety of our WIFI system. Other than developing electronic identity (eID), we should look into promoting an electronic business registration (eBR) system. We welcome that the launch of a $1 billion funding scheme to support trial use and procurement of technology products by elderly and rehabilitation service units.
In terms of Smart Environment, we hope the government can promote green techs and low-carbon living and continue to improve waste management. At the same time the government should research how to use recycled resources and embrace the concept of “waste-to-energy”. This includes combining innovative technologies and developing green industries and a “recycling light industry” in order to promote the research and development of the environmental protection industry.
In terms of Smart People, we should catch up with global trends in education and add Arts to the STEM curriculum, making it STEAM and to train up innovative students. We propose providing resources to train STEAM teachers and to help schools promote STEAM education. In terms of Postdoctoral Hub programme and Internship programme, we propose that the government simplify related application procedures and shorten the time needed to receive funding and therefore encourage the industry to utilize more professionals and specialists.
In terms of Smart Government, we cannot accept the fact that the Common Spatial Data Infrastructure (CSDI) will not be implemented until 2023. This must be implemented as soon as possible. We hope the government will set up innovation and technology monitoring committees to coordinate and lead all the projects, speed up the development and implementation of services, improve urban management and finally achieve the vision of a smart city. At the same time, strengthen the online government services and improve online tax reporting, fee payment and license renewal services.
In terms of Smart Economics, we support quickly attracting virtual banking here, and we propose the government to follow the development strategies laid out in the 13th Five-year plan, the Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area Development Scheme and promote the industrialization and reindustrialization of scientific research findings in Hong Kong and assist the industry to expand its business on the Mainland and in the global market. Speed up the development of our tech industry through tax incentives, including attracting more venture capital, promoting the incubation of patent-based technology businesses, improving the intellectual property system in order to meet the supply and demand of innovative technologies and products.
The DAB hopes that the government will implement the projects in the blueprint as soon as possible. While promoting these projects, the government should listen to advice, use the technology we already possess, strengthen cooperation between the public and private sectors and encourage local research and development that innovates new smart city technologies. We should become a smart city that truly puts the people first and use these technologies to solve the daily problems of the people and allow the public to benefit from our development of a smart city.
Media Inquiry: Legislative Councilor Elizabeth Quat (9031 7995)