Email this article
Speech by CE at 3rd Business of Intellectual Property Asia Forum (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at the 3rd Business of Intellectual Property Asia Forum this morning (December 5):

Fred, Commissioner Tian, Ms Wang, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good morning. It is my great pleasure to join you all for the 3rd Business of Intellectual Property (BIP) Asia Forum. In the space of just three years, this Forum has become an important event for the industry and for our region. For the first time this year, the HKSAR Government has joined hands with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the Hong Kong Design Centre to co-organise the forum. We are delighted to have so many eminent professionals and business leaders from around the world taking part under the theme, "Intellectual Property: Driving the New Economy".

     In our knowledge-based economy, intellectual property (IP) has become a very valuable asset for individuals and companies and is the currency for innovation and growth. Businesses and entire economies compete on the strength of innovation. Knowledge protected by law is traded across borders to drive growth. Over the last two decades, we have seen a growing demand for IP rights in Asia and especially in the Mainland of China. In 2011, Mainland China overtook the US in terms of the number of patent applications received. The country has since become the global leader in the number of applications received regarding patents and trademarks as well as industrial design. Last year, more than 4 500 designs from 40 countries were registered with the Hong Kong Government's Intellectual Property Department. Of these, almost 500 designs originated from the Mainland of China, which is more than double the number for the previous year. Also last year, we received almost 7 000 trademark applications from the Mainland of China, which is almost double the number in 2008 and second only to those from Hong Kong.

     Mainland Chinese companies have a greater knowledge, appreciation and appetite for IP obtained from indigenous research and development efforts as well as acquisitions from abroad. This represents huge potential for IP trading in Mainland China. Hong Kong is an ideal place for local and foreign companies to tap into this potential.

     Hong Kong has long served as a strategic gateway into and out of the Mainland of China, not just for trade and investment but also for ideas and innovation. We have a lot of experience in cross-boundary IP transactions. Hong Kong is a regional marketplace and service centre for activities such as copyright trading, licensing and franchising, design services and technology transfer. We work hard to maintain and enhance our sound legal and financial infrastructure under the principle of "One Country, Two Systems". We have highly open markets and a deep pool of bilingual and experienced IP talent. These are some of the reasons that Hong Kong was ranked number one in Asia and seventh in the world in this year's Global Innovation Index announced in July.

     In March this year, my Government set up a Working Group on IP Trading to strategise the promotion of Hong Kong as an IP trading hub. Led by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, the Working Group is now engaging industry stakeholders and working with them on the overall strategies and support measures in four specific areas, namely;

* enhancing our IP protection regime;
* supporting IP creation and exploitation;
* fostering IP intermediary services and manpower capacity; and
* pursuing promotion, education and external collaboration efforts.

     The HKSAR Government's involvement in the expanded BIP Asia Forum this year is a good example of our strong focus on IP promotion. The Trade Development Council will also launch the Asia Intellectual Property Exchange later today. This is a free online IP trading platform showcasing over 20 000 IP listings from 15 strategic partners, including those in the US, Denmark, Beijing and Shanghai, and local research and development centres and universities, to facilitate international IP trading and connection to global IP players.

     Ladies and gentlemen, it is not always easy to put a value on new ideas, yet we need them to feed our knowledge-based economy. Similar to any valuable or scarce resource, intellectual property needs the right protection and the right environment to thrive. This BIP Asia Forum is an ideal platform to discuss and explore the potential for IP to drive the global economy in the 21st century.

     I wish you all a very fruitful BIP Asia Forum and our visitors a memorable stay in Hong Kong.

     Thank you.

Ends/Thursday, December 5, 2013
Issued at HKT 12:22


Photo Photo
Print this page