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SCED's speech at HKDA Awards dinner (English only)

The following is a speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Frederick Ma, at the Hong Kong Designers Association Awards 07 Awards Presentation Dinner tonight (October 5):

Dear Mr (Eddy) Yu, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     It gives me great pleasure to join you all this evening at the Presentation Dinner of the HKDA Awards 07.

     With a noble mission to acknowledge good designs, the HKDA Awards has grown from strength to strength over its 30 years of history, and become a major design competition-cum-exhibition event not only in Hong Kong but also in the Asia Pacific region.  This year the HKDA Awards again met with enthusiastic responses.  Over 1700 entries have been received from Hong Kong and other Asia-Pacific economies, including Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Thailand and Australia.  The keen competition is a reflection of the success of the HKDA Awards in the design community of the region.  I would like to pay my sincere tribute to the Hong Kong Designers Association for organizing this prestigious event with dedication and professionalism year after year.  

     I also wish to take this opportunity to thank the panel of international judges for their painstaking efforts in the selection process.  I am especially thankful to those who have been so kind to make use of their stay in Hong Kong to share their valuable experiences and insights with local designers and students.

     In parallel with the efforts made by the design community, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has spared no efforts in promoting the wider use of design, with an aim to help our industries move up the value chain, enhance the professional competence of our designers, and promote Hong Kong as a hub of innovation and design.  In 2004 we launched the DesignSmart Initiative with an allocation of $250 million.  We have since embarked on four funding schemes to support design-business collaboration, design research, professional continuous education and general promotional activities.  To date, we have approved 113 projects with a funding commitment of $76 million.

     Another programme under the Initiative is the development of the InnoCentre as a one-stop shop for bridging the design community with business and industry users and cultivating a high value-added design cluster.  Jointly delivered by the Hong Kong Design Centre and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, the InnoCentre has been operating in full swing since November 2006.  The programmes and services provided include an incubation programme for design ventures; Grade A office for small and medium design companies; professional education and training; design-related exhibitions, seminars and workshops; and events and activities for networking among design professionals and industry and business users.  The InnoCentre has already admitted 15 design companies as tenants and 23 design start-ups as incubatees.

     As you can see, the Government is pursuing actively to provide a conducive environment and the supporting infrastructure to nurture designing activities.  Yet, whether design could become the key to our future economic growth relies more on the professionalism and dedication of designers, and the receptiveness and commitments of our industry and business users.  I am encouraged to see the high degree of support and enthusiasm in the Awards ceremony this evening.  I am confident that this kind of reinforcement will sustain and grow, as the importance of design becomes more and more widely recognized in the community.

     To all the awardees of the HKDA Awards 07, I offer my hearty congratulations for your creativity and professionalism.  Your outstanding achievements deserve our full recognition and praise.

     Thank you.

Ends/Friday, October 5, 2007
Issued at HKT 21:54


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