December 6, 2019 – The third edition of the HKTDC SmartBiz Expo, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), concluded today with explorations into the theme “Smart Tech Makes Great Business”. The seminar session titled “Embracing Technology for a Smart Future” was held on the first day of the expo (4 December), gathering multiple government experts and industry leaders to discuss strategies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the new era of technological innovation, and to examine government procurement guidance. The session also highlighted the business advantages of digital transformation for SMEs along with new developments in wireless technologies that can benefit a range of different industries.

Starting the discussion at the seminar was Jimmy Woo, Senior Systems Manager, Office of the Government Chief Information Officer of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). He spoke on the topic “Pro-innovation Government Procurement Policy”, revealing that the HKSAR Government’s new procurement policy, launched in April to support innovation, has allowed for greater SME participation. The policy aims to improve the scoring system by increasing the innovative technology proportion from the current 30-40% to 50-70% and reducing thresholds for SMEs to take part in the procurement process.

Mr Woo expressed confidence in new policies aimed at encouraging SMEs’ adoption of more innovative strategies, while at the same time deepening the understanding of government departments on innovative ideas and developments in the market. This will help them to formulate more effective and creative measures to improve public services which, ultimately, will benefit society at large.

Another distinguished speaker, Andy Yip, Senior Marketing Manager at HKT Limited, took to the stage to discuss “ICT & 5G Solutions for Business Challenges”. He shared that more than 86% of SMEs saw digital transformation as a major trend that is revolutionising the industry. As such, adding technological elements to the traditional operation model has become a golden rule across all market sectors now. He also cited research on the early implementation of digital transformation that could offer a significant advantage to enterprises, with the potential for higher profitability and revenues. He said that by 2021, digital transformation is projected to contribute approximately HK$9 billion to Hong Kong’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Mr Yip gave additional insights on the improvements digital transformation offers in terms of boosting industry competitiveness and streamlining work processes, enhancing operational efficiency in the process. He discussed the potential for retailers to increase customer contact points and strengthen interactive elements with new technologies such as online stores, virtual reality and digital promotion, optimising customer experiences and encouraging consumption through systems including e-payment, mobile membership cards and appointment management.

Dickens Lee, Systems Engineering Manager, CommScope (Ruckus Networking Team) examined the importance of wireless systems in the development of innovative technology during his discussion on “Wi-Fi and IoT: Embarking on a New Wireless Era”. He explained that a secure network system is the key factor in enabling Internet of Things (IoT) products to provide reliable communications to users. “New technology delivers fresh perspectives to audiences and improves user experiences. However, there is usually a process of adaptation and adjustment when introducing new technologies; therefore reliable partners are necessary to resolve problems during the process,” Mr Lee said.

The third edition of the SmartBiz Expo featured five zones, including Tech, the Invention, Start-up, The Boosters and the Global Opportunities Zone, providing a one-stop platform to support SMEs in exploring innovative business solutions and management optimisation technologies. The event attracted more than 400 exhibitors from 35 countries and regions, including Hong Kong, Mainland China and overseas, to showcase innovative solutions and products around three key business areas: Smart City, Smart Living and Smart Commerce.