Following is a speech by the Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting, Mrs Carrie Yau, at the Presentation Ceremony of IT Excellence Awards 2001 today (January 29):
Mr Lai, Professor Ng, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my honour to take part in the Presentation Ceremony of the IT Excellence Awards 2001 tonight.
Since the launch four years ago, the IT Excellence Awards have become one of the most prestigious events in the local IT industry. The Awards give recognition to local businesses which excel in the application of IT in enhancing their products and services, and in the development of innovative IT applications. Similar to previous years, the competition for the Awards this year has been very keen. There are more than 50 high quality entries competing for the two categories of awards, i.e. the IT Application Awards and the IT Product Awards. This reflects that IT talents are abound in Hong Kong to drive our development as a leading digital city.
Indeed, the IT talents of Hong Kong are not just recognised locally. We have also won acclaim in the international arena. For example, the Government Electronic Service Delivery Scheme to put public services online and the digital library of the Open University of Hong Kong have won the internationally renowned Stockholm Challenge Award. An IT company representing Hong Kong has won a major trophy in the Asia Pacific ICT Awards which is organised by ten economies in the Asia Pacific. And a local digital entertainment company has won a major award in the Japanese advertising industry as well. All these clearly demonstrate that our talents and IT excellence are recognised worldwide.
In the new Information Age, innovations and innovative use of IT are vital to driving Hong Kong's future economic growth. We must continue to capitalize on our expertise and creativity, and turn them into our competitive edges. This is crucial to sustain the development of our knowledge-based economy and enable us to compete favourably with other economies in the region. The IT Excellence Awards have no doubt played an important role in stimulating creativity and promoting innovative use of IT in our businesses and community.
To promote and drive local innovations, the Government has set up the $5 billion Innovation and Technology Fund to provide financial support for research and development of innovative IT applications and services. To further encourage innovation, my Bureau is developing a web site which will focus on our IT excellence. It will feature the products, services and applications which have won IT awards in Hong Kong and internationally. It will also cover innovative research and development carried out by local universities. All these will help provide an environment favourable to encouraging the development of IT innovations. It will also serve to promote Hong Kong's IT excellence locally and overseas.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Hong Kong Computer Society for its dedication and commitment in organising the IT Excellence Awards to give recognition to innovations in our IT industry. I would specially like to congratulate all the winners tonight for their sterling achievements. Their successes will no doubt stimulate our IT industry to develop more innovative IT products, applications and services, and this will further drive the IT development of Hong Kong, making us a leading digital city, connecting the world.
End/Tuesday, January 29, 2002