FS speaks at the 2006 Hong Kong Awards for Industries presentation ceremony (English only) (with photos and video)
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Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, at the 2006 Hong Kong Awards for Industries presentation ceremony, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this evening (February 5) (English only):

Professor Poon (Chung-kwong), Award winners, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

Good evening.  I am most delighted to join you tonight on this special occasion to celebrate the achievements of our enterprises that have scaled new heights in different aspects of the Hong Kong Awards for Industries.  

Industrialisation in the post-war years provided a fillip for Hong Kong to develop our manufacturing industries.  As our economy matured and as the Mainland opened up in the late 70・s, there was an excellent opportunity for Hong Kong industrialists to further expand into manufacturing-related and other services sectors.  Today, our services sector has been doing well and accounts for over 90% of our GDP.  But, the importance of manufacturing developments, in particular innovation, has not diminished.  Instead, we are now witnessing an increasing integration of manufacturing and services.  

The consolidation of the two previously separate award schemes on manufacturing and services industry into a unified scheme of the Hong Kong Awards for Industries in 2005 clearly reflects the transformation of Hong Kong・s economy in this respect.

With the Mainland now emerging as the most vibrant economy in the world, we clearly see many opportunities ahead of us.  Over the years, the Government has taken steps to facilitate the further integration of the two economies to the benefit of both economies, notably through the discussion and implementation of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement.

Meanwhile, the National 11th Five-Year Plan has for the first time unequivocally supported Hong Kong・s development of its services industries such as financial services, logistics, tourism and information services; and the maintenance of Hong Kong's status as an international financial, trade, and maritime centre.  

On our part, we must explore how Hong Kong can respond to the challenges and seize the opportunities arising from the 11th Five-year Plan.  The Focus Groups set up after the Economic Summit on the :11th Five Year Plan and the Development of Hong Kong; have submitted their reports and proposed Action Agenda to the Chief Executive last month.  Crafted in strategic, specific and practical terms, the Action Agenda represent a community-wide consensus on the strategic economic positioning of Hong Kong.

Implementing the Action Agenda will require concerted efforts of the Government, business sectors and the community at large.  A major area highlighted by the Focus Group on Trade and Business was to build up a :Brand Hong Kong; culture V symbolizing high quality and cutting-edge products and services.  With the dedication and tireless effort of our entrepreneurs in pursuing excellence, I am confident that Hong Kong products will continue to maintain our competitive edge.  

The slogan of the 2006 Hong Kong Awards for Industries is "honouring excellence and applauding success" of Hong Kong enterprises.  We want to commend and recognise in particular those who excel in the areas of product and equipment design, innovation, productivity, technological achievement, service to customers and environmental performance.  Through recognizing pioneers in higher technology and value-added activities, the Awards will continue to play a key role in promoting production excellence here in Hong Kong.  

In closing, I would like to congratulate the Award winners for the exemplary efforts you have put in.  I also wish to thank the seven lead organisers and the judging panels for their hard work to bring forth this successful event.  Thank you.

Ends/Monday, February 5, 2007
Issued at HKT 20:28

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