Following is the full text of the speech delivered by the Director of Information Technology Services, Mr Lau Kam-hung, in the opening ceremony of an international computer expo today (May 4):
Honoured Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am so glad to be here today to officiate at the opening of the International Computer Expo, because this is an event in which we can witness the rapid advancement and the latest development of information technology.
The year 2000 is a remarkable year as it represents the new era of the Information Age of the 21st Century. It also marks the 16th year of the International Computer Expo. Since its inception in 1985, the International Computer Expo has been recognized as the premier IT event in the market. Last year, the number of visitors was over 180,000, representing a seven-fold increase since 1985. On the one hand, the event has provided one of the best opportunities for IT trade professionals to meet their customers face-to-face to promote their products and services. On the other hand, it has also attracted IT end-users to keep abreast of the rapidly changing IT market and technology landscape.
One of the highlights of the International Computer Expo this year is the "Electronic Commerce for SME Pavilion". This pavilion aims at bringing electronic commerce and other similar technologies to the SMEs and promoting the take-up of these technologies by the SMEs to improve their business practice. This is in line with Government's "Digital 21" Information Technology Strategy.
The primary objective of the "Digital 21" IT Strategy is to enhance and strengthen our information infrastructure and services so as to make Hong Kong a leading digital city in the globally connected world. The development of electronic commerce in Hong Kong is one of the key initiatives of the strategy.
The HKSAR Government has taken the lead by introducing the Electronic Services Delivery scheme to provide public services through the Internet and other means of electronic access. The first phase of the scheme will be launched in the latter half of 2000. On 5th January, the Legislative Council enacted the Electronic Transactions Ordinance (ETO). Subsequently, the Hongkong Post, being the first Certification Authority in Hong Kong, launched its digital certificate services on the 31st of the same month to address the security needs of electronic commerce. With the support of the legal framework provided by the ETO and the deployment of public key infrastructure through the operation of Certification Authorities, Hong Kong is well prepared for a wider adoption of electronic commerce in the community.
However, government action alone is not enough. According to the results of a recent survey conducted by the Hong Kong Productivity Council on e-business adoption in Hong Kong, 69% of the local companies have not started any e-commerce efforts. Hence we still need the full support and participation of various industry sectors to promote electronic commerce to their trading partners.
Finally, I would like to thank the organiser for its effort in staging this mega IT show in Hong Kong. I am sure we will all benefit from this Expo. It is now my pleasure to declare the 16th International Computer Expo open.
End/Thursday, May 4, 2000