Digital Economy Summit 2024 Reveals a Visionary Hub of Future Technovation, Forging a Sustainable Future Together

The annual flagship event for innovation and technology in Asia, the Digital Economy Summit (DES) 2024, kicked off on April 12th at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Jointly organised by the Innovation, Technology and Industry Bureau, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Cyberport, the two-day summit is conducted in a combination of virtual and physical formats, bringing together global technology, government, business, academic leaders, and policymakers.

Together they will explore how cutting-edge technology and innovative applications reshape the urban landscape and modern digital economy in terms of sustainability, connectivity, and resilience. The event also delves into the innovation and development of smart cities, striving to create a more dynamic and forward-looking sustainable future together.

Under the theme of “Smarter Technovation for All: Forging a Sustainable Future”, the two-day summit features eight thematic forums that will bring together over 100 renowned figures from the innovation and technology sector, industry pioneers, and business leaders from Mainland China, the United States, Germany, the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific region, ASEAN countries and regions, and Hong Kong. They will share their invaluable insights through more than 50 keynote speeches and panel discussions across the event.

Paul Chan Mo-po, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong SAR Government; Song Wang, Vice Minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China; Xinning Lu, Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR; Xiujun Wang, President of the China Internet Development Foundation; Professor Dong Sun, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry of Hong Kong SAR Government; Ir Tony Wong, Government Chief Information Officer and Simon Chan, Chairman of Cyberportand officiated the opening ceremony.

Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong SAR Government said, “The digital economy has clearly emerged as a major new driver of global economic development. From digital payments to generative AI, data is rapidly changing how businesses operate and thrive, how cities are managed, and how we work, learn and live. Our country has established itself as a leader in this respect. As the landscape of digital economy is complex and rapidly evolving, Hong Kong must therefore move fast to stay ahead of the curve. We have established the Digital Economy Development Committee that has put forward a set of 12 core recommendations under five major pillars, specifically strengthening overall digital policy, strengthening digital infrastructure, facilitating local and cross-boundary data flows, expediting digital transformation, and developing a sustainable talent strategy. I look forward to more inspiring ideas that will help us drive the progress of digital transformation further and faster.”

Professor Dong Sun, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry of Hong Kong SAR Government said, “The Digital Economy Summit has established itself as Hong Kong’s annual high-powered I&T event. The Hong Kong SAR Government has always accorded high priority to developing the city into an international I&T hub, as set out in our country’s 14th Five-Year Plan. The Hong Kong I&T Development Blueprint published in December 2022 also laid out a clear course for Hong Kong’s I&T development in the next 5 to 10 years, which includes accelerating the development of the digital economy and smart city. The introduction of a number of digital economy-related initiatives and measures in this year’s Budget further demonstrates the Government’s commitment in I&T adoption for higher-quality economic growth. It is clear that Hong Kong will continue to contribute its I&T power in forging a sustainable future.”

Simon Chan, Chairman of Cyberport said, “Cyberport, as the flagship of digital technology and a key incubator for entrepreneurship in Hong Kong, has been dedicated to promoting the city as an international green technology and financial hub. The digital economy is a global trend and a significant driving force for economic development, injecting new vitality into business operations and bringing endless opportunities to the overall economy. The rise of the digital economy also served as a major catalyst for sustainable development and green technological innovation, thereby helping to realise the vision of a smart city, creating a green environment, and enhancing quality of life for the public. I sincerely appreciate the participation of all speakers and guests at this summit, who have brought fresh perspectives and insights. We look forward to exploring with all participants how the application of innovative technologies can shape a more visionary and sustainable future.”

Smart Technology Broadens the Horizon for an Innovative Future

The “Visionary Forum”, as the focus of the opening ceremony, is themed around “embracing a new era of innovation”. Yunfeng Luo, Deputy Party-secretary of the CPC Hefei Municipal Committee and Mayor of Hefei Municipal People’s Government, analysed the successful practices adopted by Hefei in driving high-quality development through technological innovation. The forum also invited numerous world-renowned technology pioneers to share insights and exchange ideas on how disruptive technologies can rapidly transform cities into digital-first, collaborative, data-driven economies, as well as cultivating a people-centric innovative ecosystem. Forum speakers included Sean Yang, Global Cyber Security and Privacy Protection Officer, Huawei; Chris Tung, President of Alibaba Group (Strategic Development); Fernando Gil de Bernabe, Chief Operating Officer, APJC, Cisco Systems (USA) Pte Ltd; Nadia Omer, Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia MOVE; Zhe Wenming, Vice President of JD Logistics; Kok-Chin Tay, Executive Director (ASEAN), Smart Cities Council; Lukas Sokol, Head of Master Planning, Masdar City; and Kunal Chatterjee, Vice President – Innovation, Visa Asia Pacific, Visa; among others.

Industry leaders and participants delved into the application of smart technology in three exciting thematic forums held in the afternoon. The “Smart Economy and Business Innovation Forum,” co-organised by Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Hong Kong Young Industrialists Council, The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association, and The Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong analysed the trends and prospects of business transformation in the data-driven economy, sharing successful strategies and case studies. The “Smart Industrialisation and Supply Chain Forum,” jointly organised by Hong Kong Productivity Council and Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre, focused on the transformative technologies for smart manufacturing and supply chain optimisation, emphasising the immense potential of technology in streamlining supply chain operations, enhancing productivity, and promoting sustainable practices. On another front, the “Energy, Environment, and Mobility Forum” co-organised by Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute and Smart City Consortium, explored the integration of innovative technologies to unleash the transformative potential of smart mobility. This included a focus on how technology can be applied to optimise transportation networks, reducing carbon emissions, and enhancing energy efficiency, to promote energy efficiency practices, and contribute to a sustainable future. The impressive lineup across the three thematic forums included representatives from renowned institutions and companies such as PayPal, AECOM, PwC, Deloitte, CLP, Chinachem Group, Lalamove, foodpanda, NVIDIA, and Zurich Insurance.

In addition to the thematic forums, there was also an interactive experience zone set up at the venue, allowing participants to experience various smart city solutions under the categories of smart training zone, lifestyle & wellness zone, green living zone, new industrialisation zone, and Web3 zone.

The second day of the summit will feature four thematic forums, namely the “Smart Finance Forum,” the “AI & Web3 Forum”, the “Living and Inclusion Forum”, and the “Elite Innovators Forum.” Michael Wong, Deputy Financial Secretary of Hong Kong SAR Government, and Simon Chan, Chairman of Cyberport will deliver speeches at the “Smart Finance Forum”.

The summit has been extended to include the weekend for the first time and is open to secondary school and higher education students who can participate in guided tours. This offers them a valuable opportunity to engage with the digital economy industry and foster their interest in digital technology.

For more details of DES 2024, including the full agenda and speakers list, please visit:

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