Following is a speech by the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr John Tsang, at the 2004 Hong Kong Licensing Show Gala Dinner this (July 7) evening (English only):
Mr [Fred] Lam, Mr [Charles] Riotto, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to attend this evening's gala dinner and present the inaugural Premier Asian Licensing Awards.
Licensing is an important economic activity. It offers an alternative to branding in helping businesses move up the value chain. It also has a substantial multiplying effect on other sectors of the economy, including design, marketing, legal and arbitration services.
The rapid economic development of the Asia Pacific region, in particular the Mainland, presents unprecedented licensing opportunities. In 2001, the Mainland was the second largest licensing market in Asia, with retail sales of licensed products totalling some US$600 million per year. It is expected that by 2010, this figure would increase substantially by 2.5 times, to over US$1.5 billion per year.
As the international gateway located at the doorstep of the Mainland, Hong Kong is well positioned to become the leading licensing hub in Asia. Indeed, this position is not backed up just by our geographical proximity to a great hinterland, but also by many other good intrinsic qualities that we offer - such as a business friendly environment, free market and free flow of information, rule of law, simple and low taxes, and effective protection for intellectual property rights - to name just a few examples.
I would like to thank the Trade Development Council for organising successfully the Hong Kong Licensing Show for the third year. The show provides a useful platform for various stakeholders of the licensing community, including licensors, licensees, licensing agents, advertising and marketing agencies, brand builders, legal advisers and design professionals, to get together for featuring, sourcing and promoting new properties and licensing-related business. This year, I understand that over 200 licensed brands are represented at the Licensing Show, which has now become the largest licensing fair in Asia contributing to Hong Kong's status as the premier licensing hub.
I wish the Hong Kong Licensing Show every success, and would like to congratulate all the nominees of the Premier Asian Licensing Awards on their outstanding achievements in the licensing business.
Ends/Wednesday, July 7, 2004