However whereas Hong Kong enjoys a powerful partnership with the remainder of the Higher Bay Space, its present property provide for I&T functions is restricted to about 8.5 million sq ft in gross ground space. Compared, Singapore’s present provide was 28.2 million sq ft on the finish of final yr.

Apart from a scarcity of reasonably priced property, together with housing for abroad I&T expertise – and maybe due to this – Hong Kong additionally has an insufficient I&T expertise pool. The Hong Kong Science and Expertise Parks Company (HKSTP) has about 700 start-ups and 20,000 workers, half of whom are analysis and improvement professionals.

HKSTP CEO Albert Wong at his offices in Sha Tin on February 3. Photo: Jonathan Wong

HKSTP CEO Albert Wong at his places of work in Sha Tin on February 3. Photograph: Jonathan Wong

HKSTP CEO Albert Wong Hak-keung hopes to see Hong Kong’s analysis and improvement professionals develop to 200,000 by 2030 however admits there’s a scarcity of such expertise to fill the virtually 2,000 vacancies at every annual job honest. Whereas plans are underneath approach to recruit expertise from Singapore, Malaysia and the US to fill the hole, Hong Kong may also must compete towards the enticing subsidies and advantages supplied by different I&T hubs comparable to Singapore and Shenzhen.

On the similar time, abroad firms are sometimes cautious of organising I&T services in a spot that lacks the related expertise. The result’s a dearth of personal funding in R&D in Hong Kong, with solely 42 per cent of the town’s I&T expenditure coming from personal entities in comparison with, say, 77 per cent in South Korea.

Locations like Singapore and Shenzhen stay extra enticing on account of their extra complete I&T ecosystem and insurance policies to lure each expertise and start-ups. Shenzhen, for instance, affords I&T start-ups lease reductions of no less than 80 per cent for the primary rental yr, adopted by 50 per cent within the second and 20 per cent within the third.

Launched final December, the Hong Kong Innovation and Expertise Improvement Blueprint units out short-term (5 years) to medium-term (10 years) targets for the I&T {industry} to develop by half after which double, respectively. By Colliers’ calculation, that may imply that Hong Kong wants a twofold improve in its provide of I&T services.

However solely about 3.3 million sq ft (gross ground space) of latest I&T property is anticipated to return on stream within the subsequent three to 5 years – a shortfall of greater than 5 million sq ft.

High hopes for China’s Greater Bay Area, but integrating 11 cities will pose challenges


Excessive hopes for China’s Higher Bay Space, however integrating 11 cities will pose challenges

To fulfill the targets and improve Hong Kong’s aggressive place, land provide for I&T and its associated makes use of, comparable to housing, should be made a precedence. Improvement-related statutory procedures, together with land change, city planning and land resumption, ought to be streamlined to expedite the provision pipeline.

This consists of any tasks on the planning or session stage for the remaining batches of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park and San Tin Technopole, which is able to present 16.5 instances the gross ground space of the present HKSTP by way of I&T land use.

The Hong Kong authorities can and must also look to Singapore and Shenzhen for tactics to draw I&T firms, particularly start-ups, such because the phrases and situations for the sale and rental of I&T-allocated property. To steadiness the general public curiosity, it may possibly additionally contemplate a concessionary land value coverage with a shorter lease and different industry-protective measures comparable to tenant admission standards and rental insurance policies.

In fact, a number of developments are underneath approach to alleviate the scarcity of land allotted to I&T. Aside from the approaching Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park and San Tin Technopole, there are enlargement works on the HKSTP and Cyberport to offer an extra 912,000 sq ft of gross ground space.

However with no concrete timetable and given the very actual potential for delays, to not point out the necessity to work carefully with competitor Shenzhen, Hong Kong’s I&T improvement continues to be on shaky floor. Now’s the time to behave so the {industry}, and its potential to form our future and China’s, don’t slip by way of the cracks.

Hannah Jeong oversees the Hong Kong operations for the valuation and advisory companies workforce at Colliers