Email this article
Speech by SCED at Intellectual Property Rights Protection Alliance reception (English only)

     Following is a speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, at the cocktail reception of the Intellectual Property Rights Protection Alliance today (December 1):

Commissioner (Richard) Yuen, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good afternoon! It gives me great pleasure to meet such a distinguished group of practitioners in the intellectual property as well as creative industries.  

     In the face of the current global financial turmoil, it is perhaps more pertinent than ever for us to step back and rethink the strengths of Hong Kong as a knowledge-based economy. Where should Hong Kong be heading? How can we turn crises into opportunities? One of the things that come to my mind is the importance that we must continue to attach to the further development of our creative industries. Indeed, our creative industries have always been one of the pillars in support of Hong Kongˇ¦s economic well-being. Even in the most difficult times in the past decades, our creative industries continued to thrive and develop. Many of the works produced by our creative talent, including comics, movies and music, have won international acclaim.

     I see here friends from the film industry, music industry, comics industry, publishing industry as well as the software and entertainment industries. I would like to thank every one of you for your past contributions to Hong Kong's economy, and appeal to you all to keep up the good work - so that we can bring Hong Kong's creative industries to new heights.

     Let me assure you that promoting the development of Hong Kong's creative industries has always been, and will continue to be, the Government's priority. The support measures that we have put in place include the $300 million Film Development Fund and different incubation programmes for infant creative industry establishments. In his Policy Address this year, the Chief Executive announced the setting up of a dedicated Creative Industry Office to provide more effective support and one-stop service for stakeholders. My colleagues in the CEDB are now working on this.  

     Over the years, we have endeavoured to put in place, as part of Hong Kong's infrastructure, a robust IPR legal framework to ensure that the fruits of our creativity and innovation are well protected. We will continue to keep our IPR legislation under review to ensure that it remains relevant and appropriate in present day circumstances. Currently, we are conducting a review on ways to strengthen copyright protection in the digital environment. We have formed a tripartite forum comprising copyright owners, users and online service providers to consider how best online service providers could help combat Internet piracy. I note some of you are taking an active role in the deliberations of the tripartite forum, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of your discussion.

     When talking about IPR protection, we are always mindful of the importance of persistent and rigorous enforcement action against illicit activities. We need to put counterfeiting and pirating at all levels under firm control. Not only is this essential for strengthening consumer confidence, but it's also crucial for upholding Hong Kong's hard-earned reputation as a world-class shoppers' paradise. On this, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Customs for their dedication in the control of counterfeiting and pirating activities. We are inspired, from time to time, by media reports about the successful raids mounted by the department. I am of course mindful that these enforcement actions would not have been as swift and as effective without the sterling support that you have rendered to us.  

     There is no room for complacency. We need to face up to new challenges brought by advances in technology, and new modes of infringement. Yet, one thing shall remain unchanged, i.e. the confidence that, as we move forward, we can always count on the partnership between the Government and the rights-holders in promoting and protecting IPRs in the community. We look forward to seeing the deepening of such co-operation in the future.

     Members of the Alliance are here today to foster closer co-operation among stakeholders in the fight against infringements of intellectual property rights. I wish the Alliance a productive general meeting. Thank you.

Ends/Monday, December 1, 2008
Issued at HKT 16:31


Print this page