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SCED's speech at grand final of Fashion World Talent Awards (English only)

      The following is a speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, at the grand final of the Fashion World Talent Awards this evening (March 19):

Felix (Felix Chung, Chairman of the Hong Kong Apparel Society), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

      It is my pleasure to join you all this evening at the grand final of the Fashion World Talent Awards. First of all, let me welcome all guests and participants, in particular the contestants from the Mainland.

      There is the saying: Fashions change, but change is always the fashion. Indeed, fashion has never been static. It has always been evolving and it continuously gives us new stimulants. It is the one sector from which new ideas emerge every season which lead to the new trend of what we should wear. This is where endless creativity develops, and where creativity can translate into concrete form which affects our everyday life.

      To keep up with the fast pace of the fashion sector, we need a pool of talent rich in creativity who are steps ahead of the prevailing trend and who are capable of developing the next big hit. This is especially important for Hong Kong as we are striving to become a regional fashion hub, and our ultimate goal is to position ourselves among other international fashion capitals like London, Paris, Milan and Tokyo. We thus have a great thirst for fashion talent. I am grateful to the Hong Kong Apparel Society which has taken the initiative to organise this event, which provides an incentive for our fashion talent to pursue excellence, and a springboard for them to rise to fame. It also stimulates the awareness and growth of the fashion industry. I am pleased that the Government has played a part by providing funding support under the Design Smart Initiative.

      Apart from creating a platform to identify new talent, this event also provides a platform for exchange and collaboration. The contestants tonight come from both Hong Kong and the Mainland. Through this event, these young fashion practitioners from both sides of the border are able to get together, share ideas and experience, and network and compete with each other. This further strengthens Hong Kong's development as a regional fashion hub.

      To enhance the impact of the event, a TV series which has captured all the memorable moments of the event has started to broadcast from yesterday. It will go on for several weeks, with the final episode showcasing the highlights of the Grand Final today. This will bring the event into our homes and let everyone appreciate fashion and the fashion industry behind it. No doubt this will raise the profile of the fashion world in our community.

      For the contestants, my congratulations to you all for you have come a long way to reach the Grand Final today. No matter what the result may be, I am sure you all have already gained a lot from this memorable and worthwhile experience. The awards tonight will be the frosting on the cake.

      Before I close, I would like to thank the organiser and the judges for all the efforts that they have put in to make this event a success. I am sure we will have a very exciting and enjoyable evening. And I look forward to seeing the awards developing into a signature event in the annual creative industries calendar of Hong Kong.

      Now, let the glamorous show begin! Thank you.

Ends/Friday, March 19, 2010
Issued at HKT 19:34


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