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Speech by FS at 2011 HK Awards for Industries Awards Presentation Ceremony (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, at the 2011 Hong Kong Awards for Industries Awards Presentation Ceremony cum Gala Dinner at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this evening (June 30):

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good evening.

     It is always a great pleasure for me to attend this event and witness the huge creativity of our industries.

     My warmest congratulations to this year's Award winners. It is my privilege to share this joyous occasion with you all.

     I am, particularly, pleased that some of our winning companies are being shepherded by young industrialists. Youth breeds energy and new ideas. Their participation and dedication will provide strong continuity and ingenuity for our industries.

     Above all, these Awards are a celebration of local creativity.  They recognise creative excellence in design, in service, in innovation and in technology.

     Only by pushing the boundaries of our creativity, will our industries be able to stay ahead of the competition.

     That is why the Government is fully committed to supporting the development of our industries and, in particular, our small and medium enterprises, the driving force behind our economy.

     We already have various funding schemes in place. These include the SME Development Fund, the SME Export Marketing Fund and the SME Loan Guarantee Scheme. We also have the Innovation and Technology Fund, Design Smart Initiative, and Research and Development Cash Rebate Scheme.

     The overriding aim of these initiatives is to provide the right environment for creativity to flourish.

     This may take the form of restructuring and upgrading, brand building and marketing, or product design and technology. These are all vital ingredients to help us move up the value chain.

     We are also helping enterprises reach out to a wider market. We will be seeking funding approval from the Legislative Council within the next few weeks to inject an additional $1 billion into the SME Export Marketing Fund and SME Development Fund. We also aim to increase the total guarantee commitment under the SME Loan Guarantee Scheme from $20 billion to $30 billion.

     I encourage our companies to make good use of this additional support in expanding your business.

     At the same time, the Government will continue to promote business opportunities with the Mainland. We are fully committed to the Framework Agreement on Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation which was signed last year. You will also be aware that CEPA (Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement) has been expanded every year since it was introduced in 2004. And we will meet all expectations under the Central Government's 12th Five-Year Plan. This includes cementing Hong Kong's position as China's global financial centre and as an international centre for trade and shipping.

     Ladies and gentlemen, the Hong Kong Awards for Industries honours excellence and applauds success in our industries. Hong Kong is well-positioned and ready to seize the abundant opportunities offered by the vibrant economic development in the Mainland and throughout our region.

     Industrialists, like yourselves, will play a pivotal role in continuing Hong Kong's success story. I wish you well in your quest for excellence.

     I also take this opportunity to thank the Organising Committee, the Leading Organisers, the sponsors, media partners, and all the judges for their hard work in making the 2011 Hong Kong Awards for Industries a great success.

     Once again, my warmest congratulations to all the Award winners.

     Thank you and have a great evening.

Ends/Thursday, June 30, 2011
Issued at HKT 19:19


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