Financial Secretary Paul Chan said on Wednesday that the government is injecting HK$10 billion into the Future Fund to support businesses with development potential.
He said the money will be put into the Hong Kong Growth Portfolio set up in 2020 under the Future Fund.
The government said the portfolio is aimed at investing in projects with a Hong Kong connection, so as to consolidate the city’s status as a financial and innovation and technology hub.
Unveiling his budget for the next coming financial year, Chan said half of the extra funding will be used to set up a new fund called the Strategic Tech Fund, and the Science and Technology Parks Corporation and Cyperport will be asked to identify tech companies deemed of strategic value.
The remaining HK$5 billion will be allocated to a new fund called the GBA Investment Fund.
“As the relationship between Hong Kong and other cities in the GBA becomes closer, investing in the development of various priority industries in the region will not only inject more dynamism to the development of the region, but also bring economic and social benefits to Hong Kong,” he said.
Chan said digitalisation is an inevitable trend, so the government will set up a new committee of experts, scholars, industry elites and officials, to accelerate the development of the city's digital economy.
Meanwhile, the minister said he will double the subsidy for start-ups set up by universities to a total of HK$16 million.
Start-ups under the Technology Start up Support Scheme for Universities can each receive an annual subsidy of up to $1.5 million for up to three years.
Hendrick Sin, the president of the Internet Professional Association, welcomed the financial secretary’s plan to inject funds to the Future Fund, saying it would give the innovation sector a big boost. He said the government could invite local private equity funds and venture capital funds to manage the portfolio to maximise its returns.
Sin added that the government had made a good start by doubling the amount of funding for start-ups launched by universities, but said the subsidy won't be enough for start-ups to cover their costs.