The Policy Address 2000

Gearing up for the Knowledge Economy

4. The first change is that people can now better appreciate the importance of innovation and technology. Three years ago, there were very few people in Hong Kong who thought about the relationship between technology and economic development. Now it is widely recognised that innovation and technology are essential to enhance productivity for our sustained economic growth.

5. To meet the challenges of the knowledge-based New Economy, the SAR Government has adopted a series of measures to improve our soft and hard infrastructure. For example, we have further liberalised the telecommunications and broadcasting markets. We have introduced a legislative framework to promote the use of electronic transactions. We have set up the Growth Enterprise Market. Phase One of the Science Park will be completed by the end of next year. Preparation work for the Applied Science and Technology Research Institute has commenced. Construction of the Cyberport is now underway and is expected to open by stages from 2002 onwards.

6. In a knowledge-based economy, anyone equipped with knowledge and creativity stands a chance of succeeding regardless of his or her social status or family background. New knowledge and technologies make market entry easier enabling more enterprising individuals to set up their own businesses and facilitate upward social mobility. Of course, the prerequisite to realising this goal is the provision of educational opportunities to people in all strata of society in order to bridge the knowledge divide. This is one of the major reasons why the Government is committed to carrying out education reforms.

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