Hong Kong is becoming an important biotech bridge between the west and the Chinese mainland, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government John Tsang said on Thursday, adding the local industry is diversifying the city's knowledge-based economy and spawning jobs.
Opening the Hong Kong Science Park Biotech Center on Thursday, Tsang said with the support and opportunities offered by the Chinese mainland, the future for those in the biotechnology industry in Hong Kong is bright.
He said the opening of the center reflects the HKSAR government's commitment to the continued growth of the sector.
"The biotech industry has helped diversify our knowledge-based economy and provide jobs," he said. "Our experts have gained international recognition for their work, including the identification of the SARS virus and other cutting-edge research."
Outlining the critical elements for a healthy biotech cluster, Tsang highlighted the HKSAR government's support for the sector through the Innovation and Technology Fund, which has financed 140life-science research projects since its establishment in 1999.
Tsang said Hong Kong is doing very well in science, the second element needed for a healthy biotech cluster.
"Six of our universities are engaged in biotechnology research, with over 250 high-impact biomedical publications produced annually," he said.
"Hong Kong's two medical schools are rated amongst the best in the world in clinical medicine, and have been conducting clinical trials for multinational companies. Our universities have long been a hotbed for innovation. Their close collaboration with the Science Park and its partner companies is a potent recipe for success, " he said.