Deepening ties: Paul Chan continues visit to London
Hong Kong's Financial Secretary Paul Chan continued his visit to London, the UK on Friday (Sept. 22, London time).
In the morning, Chan visited biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. He met with the company's senior management and learned about the company's drug research and development as well as its latest expansion plans.
During the meeting, Chan pointed out that the current-term Government has established the Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises (OASES), and actively seeks to attract cutting-edge enterprises in the areas of life and health, artificial intelligence, big data, etc. to set up or expand their business in Hong Kong.
According to Chan, Hong Kong has a vibrant ecosystem of private equity and venture capital funds. Coupled with Hong Kong's stock market being the world's second-largest biotech fundraising centre, it would help life and health technology companies at different stages of development to raise funds and expand, he added.
AstraZeneca indicated that after detailed discussion with OASES, it plans to develop a research and development center in Hong Kong, and will engage in further discussion with relevant departments.
Chan also attended a roundtable luncheon held by the China-Britain Business Council, and met with representatives of British enterprises that have business or plan to set up business in the Mainland and Hong Kong. They discussed the latest business environment in Hong Kong, the economic situation as well as the development directions and opportunities, in particular in respect of finance, green transition, professional services, the creative industries; and the measures to attract strategic enterprises and talents.
Chan pointed out that under the "one country, two systems" principle, Hong Kong is familiar with the Mainland market on the one hand, and on the other hand maintains the advantages of the "two systems" including the rule of law and the common law system, etc. Hong Kong will continue to play a unique and important role in the country's economic development strategies.
He welcomes British businesses to regard Hong Kong as a springboard, platform and partner to tap into the markets of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the whole of Mainland and even the entire Asia.
In the afternoon, Chan visited the Royal College of Art (RCA). In 2021, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Royal College of Art jointly established the "Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence in Design" (AiDLab), which was funded by the InnoHK Research Clusters. Chan toured a number of applied research projects of AiDLab and learned about how artificial intelligence (AI) could empower fashion design, interior design, textile materials analysis and preserving traditional crafts.
Chan was also briefed on projects by the research team. AiDLab was exhibiting the "Fashion X AI: 2022-2023 International Salon" in London. Chan expected that AiDLab would continue to organize more innovative exchange programs in different forms, with a view to showcasing the soft power of Hong Kong in design.
Chan also met with a group of Hong Kong students in the UK under the Hong Kong Scholarship for Excellence Scheme of the Education Bureau, so as to understand their lives and studies. He wished them success in their studies, and looked forward to their return and contributions to Hong Kong's development.
Chan will continue his visit to London today (September 23, London time) and will proceed to Berlin in the afternoon to continue his visit in Europe.