49. Digital economy plays a crucial role in the course of achieving high-quality development. To speed up the process of digital economy development in Hong Kong, the Digital Economy Development Committee, chaired by me, is undertaking in-depth studies on four major areas to explore, namely, the digital infrastructure needed to promote the development of digital economy, cross-boundary data transfer in a convenient, efficient and secure manner, digital transformation of enterprises and human resources support. The four sub-groups under the committee will provide specific recommendations to the Government this year.
Artificial Intelligence Supercomputing Centre
50. The availability of adequate computing infrastructure is a prerequisite for promoting the development of scientific research and artificial intelligence (AI) industries in Hong Kong. To this end, the Government will conduct a feasibility study on the development of an AI Supercomputing Centre. The study will be completed in 2023‑24.
51. Developing into a smart city and a digital economy can help improve people's quality of life. I will earmark a sum of about $200 million to enhance the operation of the "iAM Smart" platform, so as to provide members of the public with more convenient one‑stop digital services and improve user experience. The wider use of "iAM Smart" will further promote "Smart Government" and digital transformation of the whole society.
Encourage the Telecommunications Industry to Invest in Infrastructure
52. Advanced and more comprehensive telecommunications infrastructure is an important cornerstone of our economic development. To encourage telecommunications network operators to more actively invest in infrastructure for providing better communication services to companies and the public, I propose to provide tax deduction for the spectrum utilisation fees to be paid by the future successful bidders of radio spectrum.
53. Many local SMEs are actively seeking digital transformation for value creation of their business. To further expedite the pace of digital transformation of enterprises, I will set aside $500 million for Cyberport to launch a Digital Transformation Support Pilot Programme, under which subsidies will be provided on a one-to-one matching basis to assist SMEs in applying ready-to-use basic digital solutions, thus facilitating their digitalisation.
54. The Government also spares no efforts in supporting enterprises to use technologies to enhance productivity and upgrade or transform their business processes. For example, the Technology Voucher Programme, which is widely received by industries, has supported over 20 000 applications since launch. To assist enterprises in better developing digital support facilities as well as carrying out upgrade and transformation, the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) launched the Biz Expands Easy one-stop online platform last September in order to make the funding application process smoother.
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