HONG KONG, Oct 29, 2021 – (ACN Newswire via SEAPRWire.com) – With the post-pandemic new normal taking root across the world, enterprises large and small are bracing for the challenges to come. At the Symposium on Innovation and Technology, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Hong Kong Electronics & Technologies Association (HKETA) invited industry luminaries from around the world to share insights on the theme “Revive and Thrive”. The speakers shed light on how innovation and technology (I&T) can help enterprises regain growth momentum and what I&T trends they expect to see globally and in Hong Kong.
I&T to lead the world
Victor Choi, Chairman of the HKETA, noted in his welcome remarks that the Symposium on Innovation and Technology has long been a flagship event of the annual Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition). He said: “This year, the event is being held in both physical and online formats for the first time, enabling speakers and audiences from all over the world to overcome physical limitations to connect and explore the role of I&T in the post-pandemic era.”
In his opening remarks, Alfred Sit, Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said that artificial intelligence (AI) and big data are important technology areas underpinning smart city development. Their applications are conducive to the delivery of quality data-driven public services. As the International ICT Expo resumes as an in-person exhibition for the first time since COVID-19, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) is using the event to help different sectors gain a better understanding of the HKSAR Government’s initiatives in promoting smart city development and to act as a bridge to boost collaboration between the government and industry to explore insightful ideas for smart city development in Hong Kong.
Metaverse will become the next big thing
Marcos Chow, Partner & Head of Technology Enablement at KPMG China, shared the findings of a KPMG report on the outlook among CEOs. He said that when KPMG surveyed CEOs in 2020, the respondents named talent, supply chain and return to territorialism as the three greatest threats to business growth. However, when they conducted the survey again in 2021, the business chiefs ranked cybersecurity, environmental/climate change risk and supply chain as the greatest threats, reflecting their increased concern regarding technology’s impact on business. The report also found that the CEOs preferred using mergers and acquisitions to quickly acquire technology capabilities and capitalise on growth opportunities.
Mr Chow observed that enterprises globally are increasing their ESG (environmental, social and governance) investments and that governments are beginning to impose stricter regulations related to sustainability. For this reason, global enterprises should leverage I&T to achieve sustainability goals such as carbon neutrality. This makes ESG a space where unicorns will find ample growth potential.
As for upcoming trends, Mr Chow foresees that global tech companies will trend towards developing metaverses – hybrid virtual-physical reality spaces that can generate greater application opportunities for I&T solutions. As an example, he said that Token.com, a technology company, recently acquired a 50% stake in a virtual real estate investment trust and that the transaction was conducted with cryptocurrencies. At the recent Digital Art Fair in Hong Kong, artworks were auctioned using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as the currency. Mr Chow added that as more metaverses are developed, the risk of cybersecurity will also increase, which in turn will prompt governments to increase their oversight.
FinTech’s need for integration
Lucas Hui, Chief Technology Officer of the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), said that most FinTechs nowadays incorporate multiple application technologies, including AI, blockchain, cybersecurity and data analytics. In conjunction with the prevalence of the high-speed, high-efficiency and reliable connectivity of 5G, or even 6G, this will boost the development of integrated blockchains.
He explained: “Many FinTech businesses now depend on AI, which raises data security risks and requires the use of authentication technologies and data analytics to mitigate. As transaction volumes increase, so will the workload. Yet, all of this can be performed effectively on integrated blockchains.”
Using e-wallets as an example, Hui said that, while 5G’s high-speed data transfer can facilitate high-volume online transactions, authenticating these transactions will require the concerted use of such technologies as AI, big data analytics and machine learning. To this end, he foresees that future FinTechs will rely on integrated blockchains to perform these operations.
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) has brought its seven autumn trade fairs* together into a single “physical + online” platform in 2021. Featuring more than 1,700 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions, the hybrid fairs present a comprehensive range of cutting-edge tech products, solutions, medical and environmental technologies, services and intelligence. The four-day physical fairs are held from 27 to 30 October at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), while the online fairs run until 6 November.
* The seven concurrent fairs include the HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition), HKTDC International ICT Expo, HKTDC Hong Kong International Medical and Healthcare Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition), HKTDC Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Light Expo, electronicAsia, which is jointly organised by the HKTDC and MMI Asia Pte Ltd, and Eco Expo Asia, which is jointly organised by the HKTDC and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd.
Websites of the seven autumn trade fairs
– Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition): https://hkelectronicsfairae.hktdc.com
– electronicAsia: www.electronicasia.com
– International ICT Expo: https://ictexpo.hktdc.com
– Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition): https://hklightingfairae.hktdc.com
– Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Light Expo: https://hkotlexpo.hktdc.com
– Hong Kong International Medical and Healthcare Fair: https://hkmedicalfair.hktdc.com
– Eco Expo Asia: www.ecoexpoasia.com
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn
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