Earlier this year, Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, in his budget speech for the financial year 2018-19, pledged HK$50 billion (US$6.4 billion) to boost the city’s long-term technology and innovation development – a fourfold jump from the year before.
Much of the budget will be used to support the start-up community, which plays an important part in transforming the global economy for the future.
And Hong Kong is right in the heart of action.
According to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2018 by research group Startup Genome, the Asia-Pacific region is fast catching up with the United States in terms of start-up activity.
In 2017, the two regions came head-to-head in terms of related venture-capital funding, each accounting for 42 per cent of investment value globally.
The report also points to China as the primary growth driver in this shift, with the number of unicorns from the country having grown to 35 per cent in the past two years – a sharp rise from 13.9 per cent in 2014.
Another report released in November, by management service consultancy Bain & Company, shows a new phase of growth for Southeast Asia’s investment ecosystem.
It said in 2017 the number of recorded venture capital deals rose to 524 – four times the level of 2012.
The value of private equity deals rose 75 per cent to US$15 billion, breaking out of a decade-long phase of flat growth.
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