Following is the opening remarks (English only) by the Secretary for Commerce and Industry, Mr CHAU Tak Hay at the launching ceremony of the Web Design Competition jointly organised by the Business and Services Promotion Unit (BSPU) and the South China Morning Post (SCMP) today (October 23):
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to be here today with Mr Keatley of the South China Morning Post to launch the Third BSPU/SCMP Web Design Competition. This is the third time that the BSPU has co-organised this Competition with SCMP.
The aim of the Web Design Competition is to raise awareness among our youngsters of the importance of IT, innovation and creativity in today's knowledge-based economy. Last year, we had a record number of entries - close to 1 700 contestants from some 160 primary and secondary schools and tertiary institutions participated in the competitions. The entries were generally of a very high quality and the designs were very creative.
We have set very challenging topics for the Competition this year. For the primary school category, the topic is "Discover Hong Kong". Contestants are required to design a website to introduce to children around the world something interesting, unique or exquisite about Hong Kong.
For the secondary school category, the participants are asked to envisage what Hong Kong will be like twenty years from now. In developing their website, entitled "Hong Kong 2020: the profile of a future i-city", contestants are expected to draw a blueprint of Hong Kong as an intelligent and innovative cyber-city and to tell us how this blueprint could be turned into reality.
The topic for the open category is: "My "e-Commerce" Plan". We challenge our youngsters to look around for business opportunities, develop a business plan and design a prototype e-commerce website for a service or product that they want to sell. We want them to try and convince consumers why they should buy their product or service, or venture capitalists why they should invest in their project.
Now a word about the prizes. We have again received generous gifts from our sponsors. The prizes are worth over $2 million in total. Not only will the winning students receive attractive prizes, but their mentors and schools will also be given useful IT equipment for educational purposes. In addition, there will be free seminars on web design for primary and secondary school teachers who sign on as mentors.
I wish to pay tribute to all our sponsors. By taking part in this meaningful event, they are contributing to the cultivation of a spirit of creativity among our youngsters and to motivate them to better prepare themselves for the world of tomorrow. This foundation-building work is essential to sustaining Hong Kong's economic development.
I would particularly like to thank our Lead Sponsor, Pacific Century CyberWorks. They have generously provided funding for this launch ceremony, the award ceremony and other promotional activities, in addition to offering free broadband Internet services for one year for all the winners and their mentors - 61 free accounts in all. We are even more excited about the internship programme offered by PCCW to winners of the open and secondary categories. There is no better prize to give our youngsters than an opportunity to learn more about the world of business and gain hands-on experience in a real working environment.
I wish also to thank our major sponsors and sponsors.
The MTRC is giving us free advertising space for publicity in MTR stations and train compartments, and Pearl & Dean is assisting us in organizing this advertising.
The generous sponsorship of Cathay Pacific and Cisco Systems has made possible our most attractive prize. The winning teams from both the open and secondary categories, including the mentor of the secondary team, will go on a seven-day all-expenses-paid trip to the Silicon Valley. They will visit Cisco and other famous IT firms there and will also have a chance to enjoy the fun and excitement of Disneyland and Universal Studio in Los Angeles.
Compaq will give the winners of the secondary and open categories desktop and notebook computers respectively.
Shun Hing JVC will give to the schools of the two winning teams in the primary category a portable LCD Data Projector each.
Standard Chartered Bank is going to shower the winners of the open category with free credit card spending totalling $100,000 - money the youngsters can use as capital to realize their e-commerce plan.
The generous sponsorship of UA Cinemas, Ocean Park, Cisco Systems and Kwoon Chung Bus will enable the winning schools in the primary category to enjoy an exclusive film show, a day out at the Ocean Park or an outing to a green farm;
Thank you, Canon for the colour printers and scanners;
Dymocks for the book coupons;
Fujitsu for the computer courses, and in particular the free seminars for the mentors;
Pearson Education North Asia Limited for the Longman educational computer software;
Psion Asia Pacific for the much sought-after Internet enabled Palmtop; and last but not least,
Reebok for the gift coupons.
The long list of sponsors and the generous prizes they give demonstrate the importance of this Competition as well as these companies' commitment to the Hong Kong community. Thank you all for your support, without which this Competition would not be possible.
End/Monday, October 23, 2000