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SCED's speech at opening ceremony of Lifestyle Expo in Jakarta 2013 (English only) (with photo)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the opening ceremony of the Lifestyle Expo in Jakarta 2013 today (March 14):

(Deputy) Minister (Neddy Rafinaldy) Halim, Ambassador Liu (Jianchao), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Selamat pagi (meaning "good morning" in Indonesian).

     A very warm welcome to you all to our Lifestyle Expo in Jakarta.

     It is an honour for me, on behalf of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, to officiate at this opening ceremony and a privilege for us to bring a taste and the fineness of Hong Kong's unique lifestyle to Indonesia.

     I also congratulate the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and supporting organisations for staging this event and bringing together business people from Hong Kong and Indonesia at this wonderful venue.

     We have more than 200 Hong Kong companies here to showcase a wide variety of high quality lifestyle products covering consumer electronics, household products, gifts and premium, fashion and accessories, and watches and clocks.

     Last year, this event attracted over 10 000 visitors. I hope that this year's Expo will be even more popular with our friends here in Indonesia.

     Similar to the characteristics of products made here in Indonesia, Hong Kong designs reflect our city's creative influences and its east-meets-west culture. We are a Chinese city that has grown up a little differently from the rest of our country. The pace of life in Hong Kong is relatively fast, but that does not mean we don't take time to enjoy the finer things in life.

     We don't have an official "national pastime" in Hong Kong, but if we did, it would probably be shopping! We have more shops than most people could hope to visit in a lifetime. Although Hong Kong has a relatively small population of just over seven million people, we attracted more than 48 million visitors last year, many of whom regard Hong Kong as a shoppers' paradise.

     Our visitors appreciate the quality and reliability of Hong Kong brands, both in terms of the products they buy and the service they receive.

     No doubt, many of the exhibitors at this Expo will tell you that Hong Kong consumers have sophisticated and modern tastes. This is reflected in many of the lifestyle products and fashions we are showcasing here today.

     This Expo is an excellent opportunity for the people of Jakarta to get to know more about Hong Kong's lifestyle products and the opportunities for doing business in the world's freest economy, right on the doorstep of Mainland China.

     Hong Kong and Indonesia already have a strong history of bilateral trade. Last year, Hong Kong was Indonesia's 14th largest trading partner in the world. The value of total bilateral trade between us exceeded US$5.3 billion in 2012.

     Also last year, US$3.2 billion worth of trade between Indonesia and Mainland China was routed through Hong Kong.

     We are keen to further enhance our ties with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, including Indonesia. A closer economic partnership between ASEAN and Hong Kong would contribute significantly to common prosperity. It would also benefit trade flows and investment between Indonesia and Hong Kong, as well as strengthen the efficiency of supply chains in the region.

     Finally, I would like to wish you all a very enjoyable and successful "Lifestyle Expo in Jakarta" and I hope that you will come and visit us in Hong Kong very soon.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Thursday, March 14, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:56


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