Chief Executive John Lee on Wednesday pledged to provide homes and cash incentives for talented tech workers as part of a multibillion-dollar push to re-industrialise Hong Kong and bolster the SAR's status as an innovation and technology hub.
Making his maiden Policy Address in Legco on Wednesday, the CE said his government hoped to bring in more than HK$10 billion of investment to Hong Kong and create thousands of local jobs by luring top technology firms to set up shop or expand here.
"Our goal is to attract not less than 100 high-potential or representative I&T enterprises to set up or expand their businesses in Hong Kong in the coming five years," Lee told lawmakers.
The chief executive also announced a plan to launch a HK$10 billion "Research, Academic and Industry Sectors One-plus Scheme" next year that will fund at least 100 university research teams that are deemed to have "good potential" to develop into start-up businesses.
A new role – the commissioner for industry – will be created to spearhead the government's drive to "transform and upgrade" the manufacturing sector.
Lee said his administration will explore building a second advanced manufacturing centre at the Tai Po InnoPark, after the unveiling of the first such production facility at the Science Park's Tseung Kwan O site earlier this year.
The CE pledged to subsidise the setting up of more smart production facilities, with the aim of quadrupling the number of state-of-the-art production lines to 130 in five years.
And to keep and bring in top-notch workers in the field, Lee said the government would increase the subsidies for companies to hire staff under the Research Talent Hub Scheme by about 10 percent and hand out a living allowance for research workers with a doctoral degree.
Lee also proposed to construct more accommodation facilities for tech sector workers near the Science Park and in the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park.
He added that the government also planned to offer Hong Kong internship opportunities to overseas and Greater Bay Area students enrolled in university science, technology, engineering and mathematics programmes.