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Speech by Acting Financial Secretary (English only)

    Following is a speech by the Acting Financial Secretary, Mr Frederick Ma, at the Joint Opening Ceremony of Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) and electronicAsia 2005 today (October 13):

Allan, Klaus, Fred, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     I am very pleased to officiate at the Joint Opening Ceremony of Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) and electronicAsia 2005. This year the Electronics Fair has a special meaning as we are also celebrating the silver jubilee of this mega trade show. Over the past 25 years, the Electronics Fair has grown to become the most important promotional event of the year for the local electronics industry. It is now the second largest fair of its kind worldwide and the premier one in Asia.

     ElectronicAsia is a joint venture project between the Trade Development Council and the world renowned Munich International Trade Fairs of Germany. Riding on its success over the past eight years, electronicAsia is firmly established as a pioneer show for the electronics components and parts sector which backs up Hong Kong's successful electronics industry.

     The importance of the electronics industry for Hong Kong in creating employment and trading opportunities is self-evident. At December 2004, the electronics industry employed over 15,500 workers, which was nearly one-tenth of the manufacturing workforce. In 2004, export of electronic products reached $907 billion, accounting for 45% of Hong Kong's total exports. Hong Kong's electronics exports surged by 17% during the first seven months of 2005.  

     The development of the electronics industry in the past two decades demonstrates how Hong Kong businessmen have successfully utilised our close ties with the Mainland. Over the years, many of our electronics manufacturers have been relocating labour-intensive production processes across the border, focusing their Hong Kong operations on more value-added services. They have leveraged on the use of information technologies and new production methodologies, and have achieved rounds of success in a number of niche products.

     There will, of course, be challenges from booming Mainland enterprises and indeed companies worldwide, but Hong Kong businessmen have always been able to face competition head-on. I am confident that with your admirable entrepreneurship and resilience, as well as innovative ideas and smart use of technology, we stand a good chance to get ahead in this fierce race.

     In closing, let me congratulate the organisers of Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) and electronicAsia 2005 on a very successful event. I wish all of you good business and good health. Thank you.

Ends/Thursday, October 13, 2005
Issued at HKT 11:48


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