Following is a speech (English only) by the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr John Tsang, at the Opening Ceremony of the Finnish Design 125 this evening (March 5):
Consul-General [Makela], distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
I am delighted to be here this evening at the launch of the Finnish Design 125 in Hong Kong.
On behalf of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, I would like to thank the Design Forum Finland and all the co-organisers for staging such an inspiring exhibition in Hong Kong, showcasing an impressive collection of exhibits that exemplifies how design can improve our quality of life in objects that have stood the test of time.
Design is well recognised nowadays as an essential enabling process that drives innovation, creativity and efficiency and enhances the value and competitiveness of products and services. In this connection, my Government attaches great importance to supporting the promotion and development of quality design in Hong Kong. We have implemented a series of policy initiatives and projects to encourage our industries to embrace innovative design in their business. One of our key initiatives is the establishment of the Design Centre, where we are gathered this evening. The centre is a joint effort of leading design professional bodies and serves as a focal point for design-related activities and a bridge between design and business. We will continue to lend our support to design in our community to give it centre-stage position.
We are glad to see that our efforts are beginning to bear fruit as more and more Hong Kong companies are becoming more conscious in applying design to differentiate their products from the rest of the pack. In the process, they are working to increase their competitive edge and to move up the value chain from original equipment manufacturing to original design manufacturing. We look forward to seeing them move even further up the scale to original brand manufacturing before long.
Hong Kong is at the crossroads of Asia and we are the exemplar melting pot of both Western and eastern cultures. We keep track of the latest developments and trends in design from all over the world. The staging of the Finnish Design 125 in Hong Kong is a fitting occasion. This exhibition, which gives an overview of the design skills and expertise of Finnish designers over the past 125 years, is not only inspiring but more importantly, it also offers an ideal forum for Hong Kong designers to exchange ideas with experts from Finland.
Let me take this opportunity to wish this exhibition every success.
Ends/Friday, March 5, 2004