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LCQ2: Promoting creative industries

    Following is a question by the Hon Jeffrey Lam and a reply by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor K C Chan, (in the absence of the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development) in the Legislative Council today (November 14):


     In his 2007-2008 Policy Address, the Chief Executive stated that the development of creative industries must accelerate and the authorities would formulate strategies to revitalise Brand Hong Kong.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the new specific plans the authorities have regarding their policies and measures to promote creative industries (e.g. converting vacant industrial buildings into production sites of creative industries, offering more creativity-related courses to train talents, and fostering cooperation among the Government, the business sector and the public in order to build up a creative economy in all echelons of society); and

(b) given that earlier this month, the Police seized some T-shirts and postcards from a store selling household items on the grounds of suspected contravention of the Societies Ordinance, what criteria are adopted by the authorities to safeguard freedom of creativity when enforcing the law, and how they will educate the public to avoid breaking the law while engaging in creative work?


Madam President,

     Endowed with unique advantages in various areas, Hong Kong has all along been in a leading position in the region in the development of creative industries.  Nonetheless, other places have been competing with Hong Kong and quite a number of them have marked progress in this area.  In his Policy Address this year, the Chief Executive stated that the development of our creative industries should be expedited to enhance our competitiveness and maintain our existing edges, and to promote Hong Kong as a creative capital.

     The Government attaches great importance to supporting the creative industries to explore new markets and promote "Brand Hong Kong" overseas.  In this connection, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development will lead a delegation of industry representatives from the design, architectural, urban planning, cultural, film and television, comics and animation, and digital entertainment sectors to Shanghai to participate in the Shanghai International Creative Industries Week 2007 starting this Thursday.  The visit aims to exchange with the worldwide industry players in a bid to explore business opportunities in the Mainland market for Hong Kong industries.

     My replies in response to the question are as follows:

(a) We aim to provide an enabling environment to facilitate the development of creative culture, attract a pool of talents to help flourish diversified and innovative ideas, and assist the industries to explore business opportunities.  Currently, our specific plans include:

(i) making all-out efforts to develop the West Kowloon Cultural District as a new driving force to stimulate further growth and development of the cultural and creative industries in Hong Kong.

(ii) encouraging the nurturing of creativity and talents in primary and secondary students, and promoting university training for creative talents.

(iii) promoting at the community level a culture of innovation, technology and design to the general public, particularly the younger generation, thereby enriching our creative culture to support the development of the creative industries.

(iv) converting decommissioned factory buildings into creative art spaces.  Commencing operation early next year, the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, formerly the Shek Kip Mei Flatted Factory Building, represents a milestone in the development of the local creative industries.  It is also the first attempt in Hong Kong to convert a decommissioned factory building into a creative arts centre, providing an enabling environment to draw together creative and cultural enterprises for the nurturing of creative talents, as well as to promote exchanges and collaboration between the creative and cultural sectors and the business community.

(v) as part of its holistic support to the development of Hong Kong's film industry, the Government has set up the Film Development Council and the Legislative Council has approved an additional funding of $300 million to expand the Film Development Fund to provide focused support to small-to-medium budget films in Hong Kong.  The fund aims to encourage more commercial investment in the film industry and create a critical mass of film activity and employment opportunities in order to nurture talents for the film industry.

(vi) to actively participate in the World Expo 2010 Shanghai to capitalise on the opportunity to promote Hong Kong brands to the world and publicise the characteristics of Hong Kong as a creative capital.

     Creative industries embrace a wide range of sectors.  To ensure more effective delivery of support services to different sectors by various government departments and to achieve greater synergy through integration of resources, a cross-sectoral steering committee chaired by the Financial Secretary will be formed to bring together the creativity and strengths of representatives from the industry players, non-governmental organisations and professional bodies to formulate the overall strategy and action plan for the development of local creative industries, as well as devise the ancillary facilities and manpower training in collaboration with the Government.

(b) While the Police fully respect the freedom of creativity, they will take appropriate enforcement action against those people who contravene the law of Hong Kong.  All activities engaged by the public, including creative work, should be conducted in accordance with the law of Hong Kong.  If there is any doubt, professional legal advice should be sought before carrying out the activities concerned in order to avoid breaking the law.

Ends/Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Issued at HKT 12:50


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