Following is the full text of the speech by the Director of Information Technology Services, Mr Lau Kam-hung, at the Inaugural Conference of the Information and Software Industry Association today (Tuesday):
Chairman Ng, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my honour to witness here today the inauguration of the Information and Software Industry Association. The aims of the Association are, among other things, to enhance the competitiveness of the information and software industry of Hong Kong and to promote the awareness and usage of information technology (IT).
It is exciting to see IT professionals like you tapping the strength we already have and expanding the know-how Hong Kong has accumulated over the years as a major centre of IT application. I am glad to say that this is very much in line with what we had in mind when formulating "Digital 21", the IT Strategy of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
In Digital 21, we have delineated 18 initiatives that aim to build Hong Kong into a leading digital city in the globally connected world of the 21st century. These, in turn, are based on the four enabling factors, namely -
* The hardware of high capacity communications systems;
* A common software interface mounted on established communications networks, through which individuals, business and Government can interact easily and accurately using their own system;
* People who know how to use IT; and
* A cultural environment that stimulates creativity and welcomes advances in the use of IT.
A major thrust of this strategy is to support the development of the local IT industry. Since the beginning of this year, a dedicated team has been set up in my Department for the purpose of promoting and enhancing the application of IT in Hong Kong. We have been gearing up for closer contacts with the various professional and industry bodies in the IT field.
One of the key initiatives we have been pursuing is the development of an open and common Chinese computing interface. An advisory committee consisting of experts from the industry and academic fields has been formed to advise us on the issues involved. We have organised seminars on Chinese computing to promote awareness and to solicit feedback, and we would organise more of such activities to support the industry in the application of Chinese computing technologies.
Forums are also being organised in conjunction with the IT industry and academia, a recent one being the Tripartite Forum held last month. The aim of the Tripartite Forum was to bring the industrialists, the investment community, and the academic researchers together with a view to promoting the commercialisation of IT research results. The business environment in Hong Kong may be different from other places, but one thing that always holds true is that connecting the right technology to the right people will generate the momentum of success.
Outsourcing of IT services within government is another area which I would like to draw your attention to. One of the objectives of the Government adopting the outsourcing approach is to facilitate the development of the IT industry locally. To achieve this objective, my Department has been actively working on the outsourcing arrangements. Seminars are being organised in conjunction with industry bodies like yours to make sure that this message reaches the local IT community and to encourage the participation of the local industry in the tendering of the Government IT projects.
We will continue our efforts in the above areas and to keep in close touch with members of the industry like yourselves, in order to create a favourable environment for the IT industry to take root and prosper locally. It is clear that advances in IT are bringing about changes in how we run business. The advancement of the local IT industry will help us to fully grasp the business opportunities abound in the digital world.
I wish the Information and Software Industry Association every success in your endeavour.
End/Tuesday, July 27, 1999