Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang at the 'Ten Outstanding Young Persons Selection 2003' Award Presentation at the Royal Plaza Hotel tonight (November 28) (English only):
Ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
I am very pleased to be here tonight to celebrate the accomplishments of our young people. Since 1970, the Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award has recognised more than 200 up-and-coming leaders in Hong Kong. Tonight, seven more talented people are joining this honours list.
I would like, first of all, to extend my most sincere congratulations to tonight's winners. They may be from disparate walks of life, but all of them are of high calibre. They have done Hong Kong proud. Not only have they succeeded in their professional fields, they have also demonstrated a commitment to Hong Kong through their dedication to public service.
I would also like to pay tribute to the Hong Kong Junior Chamber on your tireless efforts in promoting leadership skills and social responsibility among our young people. Your work has indeed played an important role in nurturing our future leaders.
Hong Kong's people are, by far, our most valuable asset. The Government has put in place a Population Policy that aims to make this a constantly renewable resource. We are committed to attracting the best and the brightest entrepreneurs, professionals and investors to Hong Kong. We are also laying out the welcome mat for talented people in the arts, culture, sports, and other fields outside the realm of commerce. And to help our universities become more multi-lingual and cosmopolitan, we are welcoming students from around the world to come to study in Hong Kong.
But these measures can only augment our own home-grown talent. It is Hong Kong's younger generation who hold the key to our future. We must provide them with the opportunities they demand. In return, we need them to challenge conventional thinking, to sail uncharted waters, to explore the unknown.
Ladies and gentlemen, Hong Kong's entrepreneurial, can-do spirit is world-renowned. Our success has been built on our determination, our resilience and our adaptability to change. I hope that the success stories of this year's awardees will inspire other young people to set higher goals for themselves. And I trust that those who follow the example of tonight's winners will rise to the challenges ahead with vision and courage.
Thank you very much.
End/Friday, November 28, 2003