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Speech by SCIT at MERECL opening ceremony (English only)

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr Joseph WP Wong, at the opening ceremony of the Multimedia Innovation Centre Entrepreneurial Research, Education and Creativity Laboratory (MERECL) today (March 1):

Mr Lo, Prof Poon, honourable guests, ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to be here to celebrate with you the opening of the Multimedia Innovation Centre Entrepreneurial Research, Education and Creativity Laboratory, or MERECL in short.

The Government welcomes the establishment of MERECL, which we believe will play a significant role in the development of the local digital entertainment industry. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Professor Lorraine Justice and Dr Gino Yu for their efforts in building a pool of talent in technologies, design, content, education and business, and in creating R&D projects in digital entertainment with strong commercial potential.  

My bureau has been actively promoting and developing the digital entertainment industry. In our Digital 21 Strategy, we identified digital entertainment as one of the focus areas for technological development in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has an excellent telecommunications infrastructure and a dynamic and innovative workforce. We have the right ingredients in place to take advantage of economic opportunities that the fast-evolving digital entertainment market can offer.

The telecommunications network in Hong Kong is fully digitised. There is practically full broadband connectivity for all commercial and residential buildings and our broadband penetration, which covers 65% of households, is the second highest in the world. We have a sizeable force of creative and tech-savvy digital entertainment talents that receive international recognition. Our strong foundations in the production of film, television and pop music have enabled us to lead the region in the creation of innovative and high-quality digital entertainment content.  

With the opening up of the Mainland market under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), there are more business opportunities for our digital entertainment industry in Hong Kong. Given our cultural and language affinity with the Mainland and the international outlook of our talents, our firms are uniquely positioned to bring together and collaborate with both foreign and Mainland companies to serve the booming Mainland market.  

To enable Hong Kong to capitalise on its strengths in the digital entertainment industry and capture the opportunities in the Mainland and overseas markets, the Government has launched a series of initiatives to foster the development of the industry. With the establishment of the Digital Media Centre, iResource Centre, Wireless Development Centre, IncuTrain Centre and Digital Entertainment Industry Support Centre in the Cyberport, we have created a truly one-stop hub that provides a full range of infrastructure, information and resources support to the digital entertainment industry in Hong Kong.

Today's opening of MERECL complement the facilities and support services offered to the digital entertainment industry in the Cyberport. The Government will continue to implement all necessary support measures to foster a favourable technological and business environment for a vibrant digital entertainment industry to develop and prosper in Hong Kong.

Finally, I wish MERECL every success in its efforts.

Thank you.

Ends/Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Issued at HKT 16:07