Following is the full text of a speech by Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting, Mr K.C. Kwong, at the IT Excellence Awards Presentation Ceremony today (Monday):
Mr Lai, Professor Chang, ladies and gentlemen,
I am delighted to be invited to attend the awards presentation ceremony of the IT Excellence Awards organized by the Hong Kong Computer Society. We fully support the Society's efforts in organising the Awards to pay tribute to local IT users and the IT industry for their excellence in IT applications and innovation.
In response to the rapid advancements in IT, we should make aggressive use of IT to enhance our productivity, sharpen our competitive edge and bring improvements to our daily lives. We must therefore strive to innovate our products and services, with the proper adoption of IT, so that they can better meet market demand. We must also put IT to effective application in our businesses to enhance efficiency and increase competitiveness. The separation of the Awards into two categories, emphasizing Applications and Innovation, reflects their equally high importance. The setting up of these two awards supports one of the objectives of our "Digital 21" IT Strategy, that is, to develop a culture which stimulates creativity and welcomes advances in the use of IT. It is also one of our specific measures to establish public recognition and award mechanisms to organisations which have demonstrated excellence in the use of IT.
It is also worthy to note that all contestants of these Awards are required to be companies registered in Hong Kong, to encourage the participation of the local IT industry, especially the small and medium-sized enterprises. This is in line with the Government's direction for developing the local IT industry. Through various channels, we are supporting and stimulating the development of the industry. Specific measures include rendering our support, via support funding mechanisms, to various sectors in making investments in the IT industry, as well as aggressively outsourcing Government's IT projects to provide more opportunities for participation by the IT industry.
A total of 59 institutions took part in this year's "IT Excellence Awards". This is good evidence of their wide support. I offer my sincere congratulations to all the winners. I would also like to take this opportunity to urge all participants to continue their efforts in IT application and innovation in order to contribute to the continuous development of IT in Hong Kong.
End/Monday, March 1, 1999