A high-level Swiss delegation led by Federal Councillor Ms Doris Leuthard, Head of the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications visited ASTRI’s Smart City Innovation Centre (SCIC) on 10 August 2018. Ms Leuthard was the former Swiss President. Also included in the delegation were Federal Chancellor Mr Walter Thurnherr and Swiss Consul General to Hong Kong SAR Mr Reto Renggli among other Swiss Ministers and top executives of Swiss technology enterprises.
The delegation was welcomed to the SCIC by ASTRI’s Mr Wong Ming-yam – Chairman, and Dr Justin Chuang, Vice President, Next Generation Network; while Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation Ltd – ASTRI’s partner in the SCIC – was also represented by its top brass including Dr Sunny Chai – Chairman and Mr Albert Wong – Chief Executive Officer in meeting with the delegation.
The delegation learnt about the innovation drive propelled by the SCIC through its world-class infrastructure and facilities accessible by technology enterprises, start-ups, students and researchers alike. They were shown a series of R&D demonstrations of smart mobility, smart living and smart finance applications. ASTRI has one of the strongest 5G R&D facilities in Hong Kong and the SCIC itself a testbed for 5G technologies – it works in partnership with leading telecom operators and equipment manufacturers. During the visit, ASTRI’s R&D experts shared how the technology can be adopted for applications across road transportation, railway, maritime operations as well as commercial aviation. It is worth mentioning that ASTRI has been one of the key consultants to Hong Kong’s telecommunications regulator, offering technological advisory and recommendations for a seamless introduction of 5G services in the city.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Wong Ming-yam highlighted the undisputed global reputation of Switzerland as a country leading in innovation. He referred to ever-increasing co-operation between Switzerland and Hong Kong as well as the strong Swiss-Chinese partnerships in the areas of trade, finance and innovation. Mr Wong said, “Hong Kong SAR, with its world-class business environment, infrastructure and international connectivity, acts as a super connector between China and rest of the world. Hong Kong on its own is also an important trading partner for Switzerland. You are our 17th largest trading partner globally, and 5th largest in Europe. More than 55 Swiss businesses have their Asia headquarters based in our city. Switzerland is also the first European economy to have a free trade agreement with Hong Kong.” He commented that driven by the aspiration for innovation, progressive economies, and people-centric development, “Switzerland and Hong Kong can indeed accomplish great things together.”