Following is a speech (English only) by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho, today (January 7) at the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair 2003 and Hong Kong International Stationery Fair 2003:
Mr Young, Mr Sze, Ms Lam, Distinguished Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen,
It is my honor to be the officiating guest at the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair and the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair 2003.
Toys and games play a unique role in the Hong Kong industries, first as manufacturing and more recently as trade services and creative industries. Unlike other manufacturing products, toys bring us pleasure in the virtual reality which is subject to infinite re-design for our desires. Other than being a recreational item, toys are now delivering multi-functions in our daily lives with educational features, decorative peripherals and other practical usages. Moreover, the prosperity of toy industry also drives the proliferation of other manufacturing sectors, such as plastics, electronics stationery, gifts and premiums.
Toys design and Games making are also two important areas of the creative industries, which the Government attaches importance and will have a huge potential for growth. Creative industries generate profit through talented ideas in culture and the arts, which are copyrighted and exported. From this perspective, toys and games together with other creative industries, not only of critical importance to our present economy, but also to Hong Kong's future growth.
In the first three quarters of 2002, toys worth over 53 billion Hong Kong Dollars were exported from Hong Kong. I believe this figure would have soared further had it not been fear of terrorist attack in the international political arena. With the recovery of regional economy in full swing and engines of China economy in motion, we can expect a lucrative future for the toy industry.
I am particularly delighted to see that the Hong Kong Trade Development Council is gearing up its efforts to enhance services to the Hong Kong SMEs in toy and other sectors such as the provision of timely market intelligence, potential business opportunities and trade links with overseas companies. Whilst the entire public sector is faced with diminishing pool of resources, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, with its established international trade network, is delivering enhanced values to its customers. The growing variety of customer services and increasing number of trade visitors are fruits of this long-term cultivation that we must not take for granted.
To us adults, toys and games make us young at heart and curious for novelties in life. In a playful manner, they re-vitalize and re-shape our worldviews. So it is really in trend with the New Year to be inspired by the toys and games in this trade fair.
So may I congratulate the organizers and sponsors of the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair and the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair 2003 in putting this event into a very good success. I would also like to welcome all the industry players and visitors from all over the world to this business exchange. Finally, I would like to wish you all a prosperous New Year with much joy and fun. Thank you.
End/Tuesday, January 7, 2003