Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and Saudi focused investment institution eWTP Arabia Capital (eWTPA), yesterday co-hosted the “One Gateway Shared Vision – Hong Kong Special Administrative Region x Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” event to welcome the Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and his delegation to Hong Kong.
MCIT’s visit to Hong Kong follows a delegation from Hong Kong to Saudi led by Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR, John Lee in February this year. At the LEAP 2023 event hosted by the MCIT in Riyadh, the Chief Executive delivered a speech and witnessed the establishment of the Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneurs Association (SCEA). Since then, Hong Kong-Saudi relations have fortified.
During his visit to Hong Kong, H.E. Eng. Abdullah Al-Swaha, Minister of MCIT, met with John Lee, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR, Professor Dong Sun, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Dr Sunny Chai, Chairman and Albert Wong, CEO of HKSTP as well as Nicolas Aguzin, CEO of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX).
John Lee, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR, said, “There are tremendous opportunities of collaboration in innovation and technology between Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia. The GBA market presents boundless opportunities for tech companies, start-ups and talent. And I welcome our friends from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East to join us in building an innovative future, right here in Hong Kong.”
H.E. Eng. Abdullah Al-Swaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said, “Today marks a new milestone in our relationship with Hong Kong, not only by shaping new horizons for technology and innovation together, but also by creating tremendous opportunities for Hong Kong’s technology enterprises in the Kingdom; which promotes our bilateral exchange, enhance our economic development, and allow us to shape a future of cooperation and collaboration.”
At the event, 11 companies, including Aerosim (HK) Limited, D-Engraver Limited, FJ Dynamics International Limited, FreeD Group Limited, GoGoChart Technology Limited, Triavo Limited (Floship), XtalPi, Insilico Medicine, H World Group Limited, New Horizon Health and CIMC ENRIC signed Memorandum of Understanding with eWTPA, showing interests in entering the Saudi market and participating in SCEA.
Following the signing ceremony, Jerry Li, Director General of SCEA and the Founding Managing Partner of eWTPA announced the establishment of the association’s first Asia chapter in Hong Kong.
SCEA is a non-profit organisation supported by the MCIT and the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones. Established in February 2023, it has since attracted over 100 members, many of which are Hong Kong-based enterprises. By starting a chapter in Hong Kong, SCEA seeks to connect business communities in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Saudi Arabia.
Dr Sunny Chai, Chairman of HKSTP, added, “We are witnessing a golden age in Hong Kong and Saudi relations, of which both our markets offer complementary value. HKSTP offers a unique platform which brings the best of Hong Kong’s status as an international research, innovation and finance hub to tech ventures by bridging research, commercialisation and finance. I’m proud to see our Park companies grow in our city and scale into Saudi Arabia, as well as the new paths being paved for Saudi companies to come to Hong Kong. Greater collaboration, understanding and partnership will only offer mutual benefits for the development of innovation and technology for both our markets.”
Jerry Li, Director General of SCEA and the Founding Managing Partner of eWTPA, said, “We believe that Hong Kong will play an important role in China-Saudi relations, serving as a bridge for technological and economic collaboration between the two countries. We aim to enable Hong Kong’s leading financial and technology companies to establish a presence in Saudi Arabia, thereby contributing to the economic diversification of the country in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. We also hope to facilitate the listing of companies from both countries on Saudi and Hong Kong’s stock exchanges.”
Science Park tech ventures also showcased their innovations to the delegation including homegrown start-ups and Elevator Pitch Competition (EPiC) champions, Archireef Limited and Skyland Innovation Company Limited. The delegation also toured the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) Hong Kong Institute of Science & Innovation Chinese Academy of Sciences, a InnoHK research centre at Hong Kong Science Park.
In addition to Hong Kong-based companies expanding to the Middle East, there are positive discussions about paving ways for Saudi companies to establish a presence and list in Hong Kong, and for Saudi investors to access opportunities in China.
Nicolas Aguzin, CEO of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX), said, “This is a very exciting time for collaboration between Hong Kong and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Hong Kong is uniquely positioned to connect capital from Saudi Arabia to the exciting growth opportunities in China, and to connect Saudi companies with China and the region’s vast pool of investment capital. At HKEX, we have the right channels, platforms and products to support increased connectivity between China and the Middle East, and we look forward to working with our partners in both regions to connect, promote and progress our markets and the communities they support for the prosperity of all.”