Following is a speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Industry, Mr CHAU Tak Hay, at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2001 today (July 11) (English only):
Mr Cheng, Mr Sze, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure today to officiate at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2001.
Hong Kong garment manufacturers are distinguished by the high quality of their products, their quick response and their ability to meet short production cycles. These attributes have enabled our garment industry to remain the largest manufacturing industry in Hong Kong, accounting for 30 per cent of our domestic exports and 24 per cent of our manufacturing workforce.
Hong Kong's garment industry has successfully ventured into original designs, retail servicing and brandname marketing. We are proud to see Hong Kong labels gaining ground in prestigious stores around the world.
The Government is committed to fostering the further development of Hong Kong's fashion industry and developing Hong Kong into a world class design and fashion centre. Under our Innovation and Technology Fund, a total of $137 million has been approved so far to finance 54 projects related to the textiles and clothing industry. These projects focus on the application of information and other new technologies to speed up information flow, enhance efficiency in managing the supply chain, improve product development techniques, and increase the environmental friendliness of the production process.
Looking ahead, there is no doubt that we are moving into an increasingly competitive trading environment. Quotas will be phased out in 2005 and China's entry into the World Trade Organisation will bring new dynamics to the global garment trade. The creativity of our designers, combined with the world famous entrepreneurial spirit of our businessmen, should stand us in good stead in meeting the challenges of the 21st century. With these words, I declare the Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2001 open.
End/Tuesday, July 11, 2000