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An Invitation from BIOHK2020 date COLOUR content2

Dear Friends of HKBIO and Biotechnology peers,

As the Chairman of Hong Kong Biotechnology Organization (HKBIO), it is my privilege to host Hong Kong’s premier global biotech convention BIOHK2020 between January 8-11, 2020 in AsiaWorld-Expo, Hong Kong.

Biotechnology has emerged as one of the fastest growing sectors in Hong Kong and China in recent years. Recognising its potential, the government has offered strong support through investment towards research and development and the building of infrastructure to foster close connections between industry, academia and investors. According to the Research Grants Council, between 2013/14 and 2017/18, 803 biotechnology-related projects in local universities were publicly-funded amounting to HK$1.2 billion, while outside of academia, through the Innovation and Technology Fund, over 460 biotechnology projects have been funded including pioneering ones related to non-invasive prenatal diagnosis, robotics-assisted minimally invasive surgery and mini artificial heart.

Hong Kong, often considered the gateway to China due to its unique status as a special administrative region, offers a rich source of opportunities for overseas investors looking to capitalize on the continued growth of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) – a scheme initiated by the Chinese government to link Hong Kong and 10 other cities along the Pearl River Estuary and form an international technology and innovation centre rivalling that of Silicon Valley. With its strong exposure and international integration, Hong Kong has become the go-to stepping stone for Chinese companies looking to expand abroad. New listing rules adopted by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) allows pre-revenue biotech companies to be listed on the exchange. A first in Asia, it ensures more capital can flow freely towards a sector that’s been largely deprived in the region until recently. As of May 1, 2019, of the 7 biotech companies that completed their IPOs since the new listing rule, almost half have experienced a share price increase upwards of 65% from its issuance price. As such, owing to its geopolitical advantage, large number of world class universities and its position as the No. 1 biotech IPO market in Asia, Hong Kong has the potential to be at the epicentre of Asia’s biotech revolution and it is our hope that BIOHK2020 will help set this in motion.

As a city with a rich history in industrial development and innovation, and one that is frequently coined “Asia’s World City”, there is no better place to bring biotech companies from East and West together other than here at BIOHK2020. The first of its kind in Hong Kong, the convention represents a new chapter both for the local biotech industry and the city itself. January is the perfect time as it is often when deals are first announced and when peers within the industry seek strategic collaborations. Take charge and seize the many opportunities available and engage with global industry leaders at BIOHK2020.

Despite the recent political unrest, Hong Kong remains one of the safest cities in the world. We believe the government is assessing the situation very closely, and we are confident a peaceful solution will be devised in due course. Biotechnology will continue to be the pillar of Hong Kong's technological development plans, as such we are certain its future remains as bright as ever.

We look forward to seeing you in January.

Yours sincerely,

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Professor Albert Cheung-hoi YU, PhD, JP
President, BIOHK2020
Chairman, Hong Kong Biotechnology Organization (HKBIO)
Chairman, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Biotechnology Alliance