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Speech by SCED at Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) 2008 and Electronic Asia 2008 Joint Opening Ceremony (English only)(with photo)

     Following is a speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) 2008 and Electronic Asia 2008 Joint Opening Ceremony this morning (October 13):

Fred (Lam), Roy (Chung), Mr Schraudy, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

     Good morning.  It is my great pleasure to join you for the opening of the Hong Kong Electronics Fair and Electronic Asia 2008.  

     In combining these two great electronics fairs under one roof, Hong Kong is at its most effective. Our location places us at the crossroads of trade and in easy reach of some of the worldˇ¦s largest markets. Our people have what it takes to make the city a dynamic, efficient and welcoming place for mega events such as these fairs.

     The market for consumer electronics in Hong Kong has been vibrant.  With a mobile subscriber penetration rate close to 160%, and a population amenable to adopting the latest technologies, Hong Kong is a good testing ground for the latest IT innovations.

     In addition to the seven million people who live in Hong Kong, we also received more than 28 million visitors last year, and many of them come to shop for the very latest high-quality electronic products.

     And just across the boundary is the Pearl River Delta, a region that is a world leader in the production of electronic goods, and an increasingly important consumer base for the electronics world.

     This combined fair is an excellent platform to share experience and expertise on electronics and catch up on the latest developments in the industry. Entrepreneurs and businesses cannot afford to be left behind when it comes to advances in technologies and electronics.

     And so for the Government.  We have established the $5 billion Innovation and Technology Fund to encourage technological upgrade and innovation among the trade.  We have set up an R&D Centre on Information and Communications Technologies to drive applied research efforts in this area.  Our $250 million DesignSmart Initiative supports initiatives that promote excellence in design and branding.  We also assist our manufacturers operating in the Pearl River Delta region to move up the value chain and adopt newer and cleaner technologies.  And of course, our SME Funding Schemes do help the trade to procure new equipment and develop new markets for their electronics products.

     For the public, as part of our Digital 21 Strategy, we are setting up thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots for public access throughout the territory.  We also launched our digital terrestrial television broadcasting just 10 months ago, and now 20% of our families are enjoying the new viewing experience.

     But what about the next generation technologies? Well, that is mostly up to you, our industry leaders. I can assure you on one thing, and that is, the Government will continue to do everything that it can to facilitate such developments by providing the necessary support and infrastructure.

     Ladies and Gentlemen, these are exciting times for the electronics industry in Hong Kong, in Asia and around the globe.  And I wish you all a fruitful, successful and enjoyable week.  Thank you.

Ends/Monday, October 13, 2008
Issued at HKT 10:36


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