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Speech by S for S at the Opening Ceremony of Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2006

    Following is the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, at the Opening Ceremony of Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2006 today (March 6):

Mr (Fred) Lam, Mr (Charles) Chan, Mr (Lawrence) Ma, distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

     It is my great pleasure to be able to join you here at this opening ceremony of the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2006.  This is one of the most important annual events for the jewellery industry, which has firmly established itself over the last two decades as the premier forum in the entire Asian region.

     Hong Kong is the world's second largest exporter of fine jewellery.  We exported well above US$3 billion worth of jewellery globally last year, continuing the robust growth of the industry since 2002, both in terms of volume and value.  This favourable performance is no doubt driven by bullish economic environment in our major markets such as the US and the EU, but one equally important factor is that we have a flexible and versatile industry in Hong Kong.  Our businessmen are well-known for their speed in adapting to customer needs.

     As the official responsible for law and order, I would of course venture that a safe and stable community is also vital in maintaining our economic competitiveness.  I am pleased to assure you that Hong Kong remains one of the safest places in the world, with an effective, professional yet friendly police force and a peace-loving and law-abiding community.  We are determined, together with the community and our international partners, to maintain this advantage.

     Doing business is no easy task, especially in an increasingly competitive and globalised market.  The advent of new technologies, new markets and above all new trading rules are the driving forces of change and innovation.  The jewellery sector is no different in the need to look out for new trends and developments.  

     This week-long trade fair, with a record-breaking participation of some 2,000 exhibitors, is, I am sure, the best opportunity for the cream of the industry to do business and share ideas, and to learn from the leading practitioners.

     I would wish to pay tribute to the organiser of the event, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the co-organising parties, the Hong Kong Jewellers' and Goldsmiths' Association, the Hong Kong Jewellery and Jade Manufacturers Association, the Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers' Association, and the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China.  Our gratitude also goes to the sponsors of the Fair, the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association and the Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades and Industries.

     Last but not the least, I would wish you all a fruitful trade fair and, for our overseas visitors, a very pleasant stay in our city.  I do hope that you will be able to take some time off your busy engagements and enjoy our many shopping and culinary delights.  

     Thank you.

Ends/Monday, March 6, 2006
Issued at HKT 12:25