Email this article Government Homepage
Speech by FS at the Kellogg-HKUST EMBA Program 10th Anniversary Management Conference (English only)(with photo and video)

    Following is a speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, at the Kellogg-HKUST EMBA Program 10th Anniversary Management Conference today (May 26):

     Professor [Paul] Chu, Professor [K C] Chan, Professor [Donald] Jacobs, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

     Good morning.  I am most delighted to be with you at this conference, which marks the 10th Anniversary of the Kellogg-HKUST EMBA programme, and to address such a distinguished audience. First of all, may I take this opportunity to congratulate the Kellogg School of Management of the Northwestern University and the Business School of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) on their resounding success in offering a world-class EMBA programme.

     With the theme of ¡§Moving Forward in the Next Decade¡¨, today¡¦s conference will look into issues that are relevant to the continual development and improvement of organizations and individuals in the next decade, including the role tertiary and continuing education can play in furthering economic and manpower development. Taking this opportunity, I would like to share with you how I see the Government¡¦s role in nurturing quality talents.

The Role of Education in Economic Development

     While education is generally considered as a social service in public administration terms, it also has major economic significance: education is concerned with the development and upgrading of human capital, and quality human capital is instrumental and essential to driving the economic development of a society and maintaining its competitiveness.

     The need to nurture talents through education is particularly relevant to Hong Kong. Apart from a magnificent natural harbour, Hong Kong has little natural resources.  Our strength lies in our human capital. It is the people of Hong Kong who have shaped the phenomenal success of Hong Kong in the past decades. For this reason, the Government has devoted considerable resources to our education system.  Our financial provision for education and training in 2006/07 exceeds HK$57 billion (US$7 billion), which accounts for 23% of the Hong Kong Government¡¦s total recurrent expenditure. Within this budget, some HK$11 billion (US$1.4 billion), or 20%, is set aside for higher education alone.  

     Our eight publicly-funded tertiary institutions (HKUST being one)are major providers of subsidized university education.  Besides providing subsidized tertiary education opportunities at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels to meet the specific manpower needs of our society, our institutions offer a wide range of programmes on a self-financing basis.  With additional flexibility under the self-financing mode of operation, institutions have designed innovative programmes ¡V often in collaboration with overseas universities, which help establish international networks and inject new perspectives.  Needless to say, the Kellogg-HKUST EMBA is a prime showcase of successful collaboration between local and overseas institutions.

Celebrating A Decade of Success

     Back in 1997, we were the first city in Asia to offer world-class management education programmes.  Through successful collaboration between the HKUST Business School and the Kellogg School of Management, I am proud to say that our higher education institutions now host the best EMBA programmes, both regionally and internationally.  The Kellogg-HKUST EMBA has now been ranked No.3 in the world by the Financial Times in 2006, and described as ¡§the world¡¦s most successful EMBA partnership programme¡¨ by The Economist in 2005.  Such remarkable achievements are something that the whole of Hong Kong should cherish and be proud of.  

Centre of Excellence in Management Education

     As a result of the continuous investment in higher education and the institutions¡¦ strive for excellence, our tertiary institutions have made remarkable achievements in the international arena in the past decade.  For example, three of our universities, including HKUST, are ranked among the top 60 by the Times¡¦ Higher Education Supplement 2006, and among ¡§The Top 100 Global Universities 2006¡¨ by Newsweek International.  

     Other institutions, such as the Hong Kong Management Association, have over the years provided training to tens of thousands of working executives, contributing significantly to enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of management practices in Hong Kong.  Hong Kong possesses all the essential elements of being a centre of excellence in business and executive education:

     First, Hong Kong is located at the heart of the Asia Pacific region and within five hours of flight from most Asian cities - such geographical location is highly convenient to business executives in the region who attend our business management programmes.  

     Second, our cosmopolitan character, as well as our proximity with the Mainland, offers our business executives an ideal platform to experience how ¡§East meets West¡¨ and to share international best practices in management.    

     Third, our respect for freedom of speech and information offers an ideal environment for intellectual exchanges and stimulation.  

Looking ahead ¡V living up to the promise of being an international city

     Our strategic position as the two-way platform between the Mainland of China and the rest of the world brought us not only ample opportunities but also a strong demand for capable business and management executives.  Furthermore, China¡¦s National 11th Five-Year Plan unequivocally supports Hong Kong¡¦s development of its strategic industries such as financial services, logistics, tourism, professional and information services and the maintenance of Hong Kong's status as an international financial, trade, and maritime centre.  

     In particular, Hong Kong¡¦s strength lies in professional services and high-value added activities.  All these require a continual supply of top-notch world class personnel.  To preserve our competitive edge, we will continue to invest heavily in education to enhance the quality of teaching and nurturing talents, including continuous support to local tertiary institutions in attracting more students from around the world to study and work here.  Through these measures, we aspire to further develop Hong Kong into a hub of high-end management education, and the success of the Kellogg-HKUST partnership is certainly a fitting role model.

Concluding Remarks

     Ladies and gentlemen, I am sure you will agree with me that high-quality education is pivotal to sustaining the vibrancy and competitiveness of Hong Kong¡¦s economy and indeed any economy.  Looking ahead, I am confident that Hong Kong will continue to be a cradle for visionary professionals and executives, and that the Kellogg-HKUST EMBA will move forward and scale new heights in the decades to come.  

     Finally, I wish the Conference every success and wish you all a fruitful and enjoyable stay. Thank you.

Ends/Saturday, May 26, 2007
Issued at HKT 12:00


Print this page