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Speech by SCIT at trade fairs


Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr Henry Tang, at a cocktail reception for the HK Houseware Fair and HK Gifts and Premium Fair 2003 today (July 24): (English only)

Michael, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to join you at this Fair. With more than 3 700 exhibitors from 30 countries and regions, it is a testament to Hong Kong's strengths as a famous sourcing centre for both houseware and giftware products.

I understand that you had a very good turnout of buyers yesterday. More than 33 000 visited the combined HK Houseware and HK Gifts and Premium Fairs. Among them, around 11 000 were overseas and 9 000 local buyers. This is most encouraging. Obviously, no one has been daunted by the typhoon at all. I was told that there were buyers queueing up at the Fair entrance early this morning.

In the face of intense international competition, the houseware, gifts and premium industries in Hong Kong have over the years made significant achievements in moving up the value chain by enhancing quality, productivity and customer services. Our houseware and giftware manufacturers have spent huge efforts in exploring business opportunities, expanding research and development capability, modernizing manufacturing processes and making good use of information technology to strengthen their marketing power. Some are even creating their own brands and shifting their business focus from original equipment manufacturing to original design manufacturing.

The houseware, gifts and premium industries in Hong Kong will have a challenging time ahead in the face of slower economic growth worldwide and keen competition from other economies. However, I have full confidence that the industries will rise to those challenges with their renowned vigor and resilience. The newly concluded Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement will also provide unique opportunities for the industries to migrate further to the production of high value-added and brand name products.

HK Houseware Fair and HK Gifts and Premium Fair 2003 is a leading event of this kind, and would bring enormous business opportunities for manufacturers and buyers alike. I am sure that this Fair, being the first major international fair held in Hong Kong after the lifting of the WHO travel advice, will show to the world that Hong Kong is truly back in business, and we are as dynamic, creative and competitive as ever. I wish the Fair every success. Thank you.

End/Thursday, July 24, 2003


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