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Speech by CS at Grand Opening of "Imminent Domain: Designing the Life of Tomorrow" (English only)(with photos/ video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the Grand Opening of "Imminent Domain: Designing the Life of Tomorrow" this evening (January 30):

Ronnie (Ronnie Chan, Chairman of Asia Society Hong Kong), Alice (Alice Mong, Executive Director of Asia Society Hong Kong), Nanjo san (Nanjo Fumio, Chief Curator of "Imminent Domain: Designing the Life of Tomorrow"), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good evening.

     First of all, I am humbled by those flattering words said by Ronnie. But I suspect him made that remarks for another purpose in mind. Because this place has just been given permission, again through my little intervention to build something extra. So he wanted to say that to make sure that I am not going to chase him when that particular piece will be completed again.

     I am most delighted to join you today at the opening of the exhibition "Imminent Domain: Designing the Life of Tomorrow", which is showcasing creative products by our local designers.

     Design is an integral part of our city. From architecture to accessories, from fashion to food, the fingerprint of design is everywhere. I think Nanjo san is absolutely right in his observation that design comes a great way in Hong Kong. In fact, I am pretty optimistic that it would go further because in this term of the HKSAR Government, there is at least one more champion for design in the team, to the extent that I really want to bring design into a more prominent role in the delivery of public services. Last week Jerry Liu, the Head of CreateHK, was invited to give a briefing to all the heads of departments in the HKSAR Government on the work of CreateHK and how we could actually apply design in our day-to-day services to members of the public, whether it is in a park of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department or in the designing of a post office which will really provide more user-friendly services.

     As a stylish cosmopolitan and design hub in Asia, Hong Kong is renowned for its design services. Lying at the crossroads of Mainland and overseas markets, Hong Kong is the place Mainland enterprises look to for high-end design and branding services.

     Indeed, design is one of the fastest growing creative sectors in Hong Kong. The value added by the design industry to our GDP has almost tripled from $1 billion in 2005 to over $2.9 billion in 2010. Today, over 10,000 talented individuals are working in our design sector.

     The Government strongly supports the design sector. Last year, designated as "Design Year of Hong Kong", we allocated some $150 million to support the Hong Kong Design Centre, as well as the continuation of an incubation programme to groom design start-ups.

     We are also revitalising the Former Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road. Re-branded as "PMQ", revitalisation works to the former police quarters will be completed by the end of this year, on time. It will then provide some 130 studios for designers to display and sell their products, venues for design activities, and open space for the public to see and experience design and creativity. We are confident that the PMQ will become a new design cluster and creative industries landmark in Hong Kong, spurring synergy and interaction within our creative community.

     From a wider perspective, in his recently delivered 2013 Policy Address, the Chief Executive has announced the injection of an additional $300 million to the CreateSmart Initiative íV or CSI in short íV which is a funding scheme dedicated to supporting our creative industries, including our design talents. Indeed I am very glad to know that the exhibition today is also supported by the CSI. So Jerry's office is now well resourced to do more sponsorship and give out more grounds to support Hong Kong's design sector.

     The success of Hong Kong's design sector owes much to our talented designers, some of whom are gifted enough to have achieved prominence on the global stage. They are the ones who dare to dream, create and explore. Today, at this exhibition, we can see work by 12 of them íV all renowned local designers. They are the pride of Hong Kong, and I am proud to witness this impressive showcase of their masterpieces.

     I would like to congratulate Asia Society Hong Kong Center for hosting this exhibition. It is also most befitting to stage this futuristic exhibition in a former military site revitalised by the Asia Society. I was told that Nanjo san could be brought here very much owing to this venue which has caught his attention. So let's enjoy this fusion of creativity and heritage this evening, before returning to the challenges of designing the future tomorrow.

     Last but not least, I would like to thank the Asia Society Hong Kong Center again for their dedication and contribution to promoting cultural exchange. I would also like to thank those involved in the organisation of the event, particularly renowned curators and also the participating designers. I wish the exhibition every success and each of you an enjoyable evening. I am sure Alice's dream will come true. This exhibition will attract a record breaking attendance. As Chinese New Year is approaching, I take this opportunity to wish you all good luck and good health in the year of the snake.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Issued at HKT 21:37


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