Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr John Tsang, at the opening ceremony of the 7th Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART) today (September 24): (English only)
Mr Michael Sze, distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to have been invited to officiate at the opening of the FILMART 2003. I would like to extend, first of all, a warm welcome to everyone here this afternoon, particularly those of you who have travelled a great distance to take part in this event.
Since its inception in 1997, FILMART has grown to become the premier film and TV market in the region. FILMART has also helped to strengthen Hong Kong's position as a major international film production and distribution centre.
Our ability to produce first class international movies here in Hong Kong has been well recognised globally as can be seen from the many prestigious international awards that members of our film industry have won over the years. We also enjoy a wealth of outstanding locations, high quality production services, an environment that is conducive to artistic creation, and of course, first-rate actors and directors. Jackie Chan, our Film Ambassador, is an outstanding example of the talent that we have in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Government is committed to promoting the development of our film industry, and the holding of the annual FILMART is an important element in this overall strategy. Through this event, we are able to bring together overseas and Mainland delegates with the local film industry to explore collaboration and business opportunities.
The "Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between Mainland and Hong Kong" (or "CEPA" for short) was signed in June this year. Upon implementation on January 1, 2004, CEPA will not only facilitate Hong Kong film industry's entry into the Mainland, it will also provide opportunities for overseas companies to collaborate with their counterparts in Hong Kong to explore the vast Mainland market. The "Chinese Mainland - Hong Kong - Overseas Tripartite Co-operation Forum", a new feature this year, seeks precisely to explore and facilitate such collaborations between interested parties.
The increasing convergence of the media, which has generated a huge demand for all forms of content, also presents unprecedented opportunities for the Hong Kong film industry to participate in the global digital entertainment market. The "Symposium on Cross-media and Cross-business Development of Hong Kong Film Industry", which will be held tomorrow, will help create the possible synergy and provide the needed medium for cross-fertilisation.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the Hong Kong Trade Development Council for organising this important event, and all the supporting organisations for working so well together to make FILMART such a tremendous success. I wish you all a wonderful and fruitful stay in Hong Kong.
End/Wednesday, September 24, 2003