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Speech by PSCIT at World Intellectual Property Organisation Regional Symposium (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism), Miss Yvonne Choi, at the opening ceremony of the World Intellectual Property Organisation Regional Symposium on Management of Intellectual Capital, Intellectual Assets and Intellectual Property today (October 29):

Mr Lu (Guoliang), Madam Wang (Binying), Stephen, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good Morning. It is my pleasure to welcome you all here today.  We feel privileged to host the WIPO Regional Symposium on Management of Intellectual Capital, Intellectual Assets and Intellectual Property in Hong Kong.

     In the past year or so, the global economy has undergone unprecedented turbulence and changes.  Now, the situation has settled a bit and we see some encouraging signs in those sectors.  Chance favours the prepared mind.  As the global economy is about to turn a new page, it is also time for us to gear up and map out a long-term strategy to enhance our strengths, resilience and overall competitiveness.  

     Intellectual Capital or Asset Management (ICM) is a set of management tools, which allows enterprises to tap into reservoirs of knowledge and expertise that they already possess but may not be exploiting effectively.  The main tools in the ICM toolbox are designed to help enterprises recognise and organise their knowledge.  This amounts to developing a complete and well-organised list of an enterprise's intangible assets.  A further step involves identifying the risks attached to these intangible assets; and the development of measures, such as protection of trade secrets or registration of patents or trademarks, to reduce or eliminate risks.  

     The outcome is a new type of "balance sheet" which, apart from both fixed and financial assets and liabilities, shows intangible assets and liabilities.  This new "balance sheet" is particularly useful for the creative industries, whose most valuable assets are usually intangible and are not reflected in the book.  With a better idea of their asset portfolio, both tangible and intangible, enterprises are better positioned to devise their strategy for creating value.

     In Hong Kong, we do see merits for enterprises in the region to adopt the ICM concept and systematically take stock of their intellectual capital.  To this end, the Intellectual Property Department, together with the Innovation and Technology Commission as well as the Trade and Industry Department, launched an ICM Consultancy Programme in March this year.  The programme provides free consultancy service on ICM to enterprises, especially SMEs.  We hope the programme will help our enterprises maximise their business potential and compete more effectively in the global market which is getting more and more competitive as all you can appreciate.

     As we enter into the era of knowledge-based economies, the creative industries will become an even more important powerhouse driving the sustainable development of the local economy.  Hong Kong is keen to further develop our strength in the creative industries such as designs, films, animation, comics, and advertising.  We now have around 32,000 establishments related to the creative industries and together they employ more than 170,000 people.  Our creative industries contribute more than HK$60 billion (US$7.7 billion) annually to our economy, representing around 4% of our GDP.  To build Hong Kong into a regional creative hub and to foster an environment conducive to their sustainable development, the Government established a dedicated Office called Create Hong Kong in June this year, providing a one-stop services and better support for the creative industries.

     The Government is also mindful of the importance of putting in place a proper protection regime for intellectual property.  Our IP rights are protected through a three pronged approach, namely comprehensive legislation consistent with international right and standards, rigorous investigation and enforcement action, as well as sustained public education to promote a culture of respect for intellectual property.  During these very challenging times for our economy, we will be working doubly hard and under the leadership of Stephen to make sure that the intellectual property of our entrepreneurs is well protected.

     Today, we are happy to have the opportunity to update ourselves of best practices in the management of intellectual capital, intellectual assets and intellectual property.  This two-day regional symposium is an excellent occasion to demonstrate regional collaboration with so many of you coming from different parts of the world and facilitate expertise exchange among different economies.  Expert speakers will explain the principles of ICM, Intellectual Asset Management and Intellectual Property Management.  They will cite case studies to show how ICM tools are being used for helping SMEs in Asia Pacific to enhance their management skills strategically.

     Finally, I wish you all a successful and fruitful symposium and a very enjoyable stay in Hong Kong!

     I hope when the symposium ends tomorrow, you will be able to find time to look around Hong Kong and contribute to our economy.

     Thank you.

Ends/Thursday, October 29, 2009
Issued at HKT 16:44


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