Following is a speech by the Secretary for Information Technology & Broadcasting, Mr K C Kwong, at the Inaugural Ceremony of HongKong-Silicon Valley High Tech Community today (Thursday):
Mrs Alker, ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to extend the warmest greetings from us all here in Hong Kong to our friends in the Silicon Valley. I am very pleased to join you via cyberspace at the Inaugural Ceremony of the HongKong-Silicon Valley High Tech Community, the first organisation set up specifically to foster closer links between the IT sectors of Hong Kong and the Silicon Valley. I am particularly grateful to the dedicated and outstanding work of Mrs Alker in making today's event possible.
Mrs Alker visited Hong Kong recently and wrote an article about it on her return to the United States. I was particularly touched by her reminiscence of her youthful living in Hong Kong and the emotional attachment she still harbours about Hong Kong.
Indeed, there are many people in the Silicon Valley who have similarly close ties with Hong Kong and vice versa. But, part from these personal ties, both of us have a lot in common. For example, we are both reported for our entrepreneurial spirit, our cosmopolitan outlook within which individual expression is welcome, our staunch support for the rule of law, the free-flow of information and the free exchange of ideas, our reliance on the market and, of course, our enhancing and use of technology as an engine of growth for the economy and as a means towards the betterment of the lives of our citizens.
Since the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 1997, we have set out vision on making Hong Kong a leader, and not a follower, in the information world of tomorrow. To achieve that vision, we have worked out the Digital 21 Information Technology Strategy, with a mission to enhance and promote Hong Kong's information infrastructure and services so as to make Hong Kong a leading digital city in the globally connected world of the 21st century. And we have embarked on a comprehensive package of initiatives under that strategy. The key ones include -
* progressive liberalisation of our telecommunications market to encourage investment in both local and external capacities and services;
* liberalisation of the broadcasting market to encourage the introduction of diverse and innovative content services;
* creation of a business and legal environment to encourage the development of electronic commerce;
* extensive use of IT in education to ensure that our people are skilled in the use of IT; and
* implementation of a series of public education activities to change people's attitudes so that the community will as a whole embrace IT.
And last but not least, we have worked hard to strengthen bilateral ties between Hong Kong and other communities which are advanced in IT.
It is therefore most encouraging for us to see the positive response which Mr Tung received from you during his visit to the Silicon Valley last June. And, consistent with the entrepreneurial spirit and speed of action for which you are so famous, we see your response being turned into a tangible form with the setting up of the HK-SV High Tech Community.
We fully support the goals of HK-SV.com, which are to provide awareness, stimulate collaboration and facilitate networking in high-tech activities and business opportunities between Hong Kong and Silicon Valley.
I am glad to say that the setting up of the HK-SV.com has met with enthusiasm here in Hong Kong. Quite a number of companies which we have approached have expressed an interest in joining the community.
Today, I am very pleased to have some of these companies here to join me in this meeting in cyberspace to show our support to the Hong Kong-Silicon Valley High Tech Community. They include -
* Champion Technologies Ltd which is one of the leading manufacturers of wireless telecommunications equipment and provider of value-added services via the wireless telecommunications networks;
* HKNet Co. Ltd, one of the first and most successful Internet services providers in Hong Kong;
* American Pacific Technology Group, an international company with interests in capital venture and other forms of investment in the IT sector;
* Pacific Century Group, a leading IT and IS company, which is also our development partner in the Cyberport project;
* Computer & Technologies Ltd, an indigenous software developer of Hong Kong;
* Group Sense Ltd which is expert in manufacturing electronic dictionaries, translating machines, pagers and educational toys.
In addition to these companies, we have also received positive responses from our industrial support bodies. Here with me today are representatives of the Growth Enterprises Market, the Hong Kong Productivity Council and the Federation of Hong Kong Industries.
With efforts from both sides, I am confident that the HongKong-Silicon Valley High Tech Community will grow from strength to strength.
I wish the Community every success. Thank you.
END/Thursday, October 28, 1999