LCQ21: Measures to support the development of high-end manufacturing industries

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      Following is a question by the Hon Jimmy Ng and a written reply by the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, in the Legislative Council today (July 12):


     Some owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) engaging in high-end manufacturing industries have earlier relayed to me that as industrial lands in Hong Kong have been in short supply in recent years, which has resulted in a persistent surge in the level of rents, and coupled with the lack of support from the Government, those enterprises have difficulties in carrying on their business in Hong Kong and re-industrialisation of Hong Kong has been hindered. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) given that in an effort to complement the Government's policy to promote re-industrialisation, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation will select suitable premises from the surrendered factories in the three existing Industrial Estates and refurbish them for leasing to the technology industry, of the following information in relation to such measure:

(i) the definition of "technology industry" adopted by the authorities;

(ii) the types of technology industry which may apply to rent the refurbished premises;

(iii) the number of factories repossessed so far, and the total land area of such factories;

(iv) the anticipated number of enterprises which will move in in September this year (with a breakdown by the industry to which they belong); and

(v) the anticipated number of SMEs engaging in high-end manufacturing industries which may move in; and

(2) as it has been reported that the first building to be developed by the Government under the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park project in the Lok Ma Chau Loop will be completed seven years later at the earliest, whether the authorities have any short and medium term measures in place to support SMEs engaging in high-end manufacturing industries to carry on business in Hong Kong, so as to enhance the competitiveness of those enterprises; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     Our reply to the two parts of the question is as follows:

(1) Under the prevailing industrial estate (IE) policy, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC) will give priority to admitting innovation and technology (I&T) industries. Given the rapid advancement of technology, flexibility would be exercised by the HKSTPC in the vetting of applications for admission to the IEs.

In the meantime, the HKSTPC has proposed to focus its resources on industries which are the most beneficial to the development of Hong Kong and can complement the development of its three over-arching technology platforms (namely smart city, healthy ageing and robotics), such as biomedical technology, precision engineering, new materials, information and communications technology, etc.

     To date, the HKSTPC has successfully repossessed nine IE sites with an area of about 9 hectares. There are existing buildings on five of these sites. The first refurbishment project carried out by the HKSTPC involves a five-storey building which provides a gross floor area (GFA) of about 8 500 square metres in the Tai Po IE (TPIE).

The HKSTPC is now vetting the admission applications, the applicants of which are mainly involved in industries including precision engineering and new materials, etc. It is anticipated that tenants can begin to move in from the fourth quarter of 2017 to early next year. The HKSTPC is actively examining the feasibility of redeveloping another premises to be surrendered in the TPIE.

It is hoped that a GFA of approximately 18 600 square metres can be provided in 2019 for admission applications by more enterprises.

(2) Land is a precious resource in Hong Kong. All economic activities, including the I&T industry, have a very keen demand for land. The Government will offer appropriate support in regard to land supply.

In the long run, when planning for new development areas, we will maintain close contact with relevant departments to reserve land for I&T development. The Government is now planning to expand Yuen Long IE (YLIE) on a site of about 16 hectares in the Wang Chau area to the southwest of YLIE. We have also provisionally identified a site of about 56 hectares near the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point for the long-term development of IEs.

The HKSTPC is now carrying out a preliminary planning study on this.

     In the short run, the HKSTPC will continue to identify suitable IE premises from the surrendered land and refurbish them for leasing to technology companies. Meanwhile, the HKSTPC is developing a Data Technology Hub and an Advanced Manufacturing Centre at the Tseung Kwan O IE. The two projects are expected to be completed in 2020 and 2021/22 respectively, providing a total GFA of about 135 600 square metres.

These measures will help address the industry's need for land over the short and medium term.

Published on: 2017-07-12

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