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Speech by SCED at World SME Expo (English only) (with photos)

    Following is a speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Frederick Ma, at the opening ceremony of World SME Expo and Inno Design Tech Expo today (December 12):

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     I am delighted to be here to witness the opening of not one, but two great fairs - the World SME Expo and the Inno Design Tech Expo. These two events have grown in profile and attendance over the years. Today they are a "must-attend" occasion for SMEs who wish to source fresh ideas, build global business connections and keep up to date with policy changes and market information.  

     SMEs play a very important role in today's globalised economies. In Hong Kong about 98% of businesses are SMEs and they employ roughly half of the workforce in the private sector.  I believe we have a pretty good and SME-friendly environment here in Hong Kong.  A low and simple tax system; a highly effective workforce; an externally-oriented economy; slick logistics operations and a unique free-trade agreement with the Mainland that covers a nation of 1.3 billion potential customers, these are just a few of our plus points.  We would like to see more small businesses setting up operations in Hong Kong to enjoy the benefits.  A vibrant SME sector contributes to job creation, stimulates entrepreneurship, and is a strong engine for economic growth.  

     Over the next few days, more than 30,000 people representing different products and services sectors will meet to network and expand their reach to potential customers all over the world.  It is also a chance for service providers to showcase their business solutions tailored to SMEs.  I am looking forward to seeing some of the latest creations for myself a little later!
     Innovation, design and technology are key elements of today's businesses.  SMEs, with their flexibility and quick turnaround time, have great potential to benefit from such development.  Of course, what is good for you is probably just as advantageous for your business rivals.  So it is more important than ever to establish a niche market and create an identity that stands out.

     No doubt you will find plenty of excellence in innovation, design and branding at these expos.  Our Government has an important role to play as well.  I am pleased to see my colleagues from InvestHK, the Innovation and Technology Commission, Companies Registry, Trade and Industry Department and Intellectual Property Department as well as the Productivity Council at these two events.  This year, the expos put special emphasis on helping outward processing enterprises which operate in the Mainland, with particular focus on environmental technologies.  I hope businesses will be able to share and exchange views on the developments and opportunities on this front.

     I will keep this short because I am sure you are all eager for the expos to get into full swing.  I hope our friends from overseas will be able to find time to get out and see some of our city and do some Christmas shopping while you are here.  And if you are keen to know more about the business opportunities in Hong Kong and how to get started, my colleagues will only be too happy to help you out.  I wish both expos every success.  Thank you very much.

Ends/Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Issued at HKT 14:57


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