Connected Cities Conference returns successfully to fuel smart city development in Hong Kong

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Organised by KPMG China, The Connected Cities Conference returned today as part of StartmeupHK Festival 2022, featuring over 120 speakers, including prominent figures from academia, business along with several leading entrepreneurs. Backed by more than 40 organisations and 12 strategic organisers including 3 Hong Kong, Cyberport, DLA Piper, essensys, JLL, Microsoft, MTR, Pico X, Siemens, Signify, Sino Group and theDesk, the hybrid event was a huge success as more than 2500 participants from 20 countries joined the insightful event. Many hot topics came up for discussion, including the Greater Bay Area (GBA), sustainability, the latest trends in infrastructure, real estates, transportation, consumer along with breakthroughs in the tech and biotech sectors.

Andrew Weir, Regional Senior Partner, Hong Kong and Global Chair, Asset Management and Real Estate, KPMG, says: “The coming decades hold great promise for Hong Kong’s continued development as a smart and sustainable city. The city’s status as a logistics hub and global financial centre enables innovation in the areas of logistics and digital supply chain, fintech, Reg-tech and sustainable finance, while its dense urban landscape offers opportunities for the development of prop-tech solutions. Hong Kong is in a strong position to develop use cases that can be applied to other markets in the rest of the GBA and ASEAN.”

A key theme for this year’s conference was Hong Kong’s ongoing development not just as a “connected city” but also a leading “smart ESG city” capable of attracting new talent including wealth creators, innovators and investors.

Alan Yau, Head of Real Estate, Hong Kong, KPMG China says: “The government’s last Policy address has a big focus on redevelopment, including planning, building approvals, land premium/zoning, revisiting plot ratio and incentives to create greener buildings that are fit for purpose. With incentives in place, we now need a concerted effort to bring redevelopment projects to life, enhancing the livability of the city.”

Wilson Pang, Senior Partner, Advisory, Southern Region, KPMG China, says: “Looking forward, the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay area remains the most important strategy for China. Elements ranging from technology, finance, ESG as well as dual-circulation will be increasingly integrated into our existing industrial sectors, while the 9+2 cities (including Hong Kong) in the area will collaborate more closely to achieve synergy and exponential economic growth. Hong Kong should seize on these opportunities and execute this GBA strategy as part of its own.”

Anson Bailey, Head of Consumer & Retail, ASPAC and Head of Technology, Media & Telecom, Hong Kong, KPMG in China, says: “Asia Pacific will soon be home to half a billion tech-savvy, socially aware Gen Z consumers, who expect a seamless consumer experience across all walks of life. We are in a great position to be the super connector between the GBA and the rest of China and Asia, as Hong Kong increasingly becomes the international tech and innovation hub. ”

The Conference also showcased innovations for the next generation of urban living. Global and regional speakers from academia, business and leading entrepreneurs were featured to share examples and best practices in implementing connected cities and technologies from around the world ─ including 5G, IoT, PropTech, Metaverse and Data Analytics ─  to enhance a city’s liveability, workability and sustainability.

The Connected Cities also featured a Startup Village with over 100 exhibition booths and a networking lounge powered by CoCoon, with scheduled demos and pitching from startups, corporates and investors.

Irene Chu, Head of New Economy & Life Science, Hong Kong, KPMG China says: “We expect ESG and sustainability-focused Emerging Giants will continue to grow as governments and the private sector across Asia Pacific put more emphasis on climate change, community and business resilience. They will play an important role in developing the technology needed for sustainable development.”