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Speech by CE at opening ceremony of Business of Design Week 2012 (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech delivered by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at the opening ceremony of Business of Design Week 2012 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this morning (December 6):

Victor, Your Royal Highnesses, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     I am very pleased to join you this morning for the opening ceremony of this year's Business of Design Week (BODW).

     A very warm welcome to you all, and especially to our friends from Denmark, this year's partner country.

     BODW 2012 is a particularly special event.

     We are honoured by the presence of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess of Denmark. Allow me to take this opportunity to wish the royal couple a very enjoyable stay in Hong Kong.

     This year's BODW also has added significance because it is a key event of "Hong Kong Design Year 2012".  Over the past 12 months, we have staged more than 50 events promoting our city's creativity and design expertise.

     BODW is our single largest and most international annual design event. With almost 100,000 attendees last year, BODW is the largest event of its kind in Asia. It brings together design practitioners and business leaders from all over the world.  This week is both a celebration of the design culture, and a platform on which to do business. It connects leaders in different areas of the design industry and it opens doors to new markets, not least the Mainland of China. When you showcase your design in Hong Kong, you reach out not only to the seven million Hong Kong people, but also to the 1.3 billion in the country.

     Rapid transformation of the nearby Pearl River Delta and industry upgrading in the region have boosted demand for design services. Hong Kong has a distinct advantage with low and simple taxes, no restrictions on capital movements, effective rule of law, and free flows of information and ideas. We are also the best connector to other Chinese cities in terms of both infrastructure and human connections.  I encourage you all to make full use of the opportunities that we offer in Hong Kong to the rest of the world. For Hong Kong firms, the Government will also step up our assistance to help you access the Mainland market.

     Denmark, as this year's partner country, brings its own design influence to BODW. Danish design is known for its fine craftsmanship, user-friendliness and natural presentation. We are pleased to have some of Denmark's leading designers here to share their insights and vision with us.

     The Hong Kong SAR Government is proud to be a major sponsor of BODW. For the first time ever, the Government has provided BODW with dedicated funding support amounting to $37.5 million for this year and the next two years. It is part of our commitment to supporting the local design sector and promoting creative industries as a fast-emerging pillar of our economy.

     We are prepared to offer assistance to specific industry if circumstances so warrant.

     Apart from sponsoring BODW, we have a dedicated office called Create Hong Kong to provide a one-stop shop for creative services. We have also established a $300 million CreateSmart Initiative that provides financial support to initiatives that are conducive to the development and promotion of creative industries.

     Last, but by no means least, we have the Hong Kong Design Centre which is a strategic partner of the Government in design promotion. I would like to congratulate the Hong Kong Design Centre for successfully organising this event over the past 10 years and I wish you all a very enjoyable BODW 2012.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Thursday, December 6, 2012
Issued at HKT 11:21


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