HONG KONG, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- A vibrant start-up environment plays a pivotal role in driving innovation and technology development in Hong Kong, an official said on Thursday.
Hong Kong's start-up scene has experienced phenomenal growth in recent years, said Cheung Kin-chung, chief secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government.
Hong Kong is ranked among the top five fastest growing start-up ecosystems and one of the world's top 25 start-up hubs, he said at Jumpstarter, a start-up event held by Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund.
According to the latest survey by Invest Hong Kong, a department of the HKSAR government, there were over 2,600 start-ups in Hong Kong in 2018, up 18 percent over 2017. The number of people employed by start-ups also skyrocketed to 9,548, an increase of 51 percent over the previous year.
The HKSAR government is determined to transform Hong Kong into a leading global hub for innovation and entrepreneurship where start-ups can use the city as a lab, a showcase and a global launch pad, Cheung said.
Cheung said to propel Hong Kong's innovation and technology development forward, in the past three years, the government has committed over 100 billion HK dollars (about 12.82 billion U.S. dollars) to boost research and development, develop innovation and technology infrastructure, nurture talent pool, provide investment funding and support measures to improve the ecosystem for start-ups.