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Speech by FS at StartmeupHK Venture Forum 2013 (English only) (with photo/video)

     Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, at the StartmeupHK Venture Forum 2013 organised by Invest Hong Kong at the Central Government Offices in Tamar this morning (December 5):

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good morning.

     It is really a great pleasure for me to join you all this morning for Invest Hong Kong's inaugural StartmeupHK Venture Forum.

     The department has done an excellent job in providing this platform to connect the start-up firms in Hong Kong with angel investors, with entrepreneurs as well as experts from around the world.

     Thank you all for your participation today, especially those of you who have flown in for the occasion from all over the world. Your support is an essential impetus for us to promote Hong Kong as a premier start-up destination in Asia and to attract overseas entrepreneurs to set up in our city.

     Start-ups are not only one of the biggest drivers of job creation and economic growth in any economy; they also indirectly create further job opportunities when they outsource certain activities to local service providers. They also bring inspiration, they bring innovation, ideas, talented people and technology to our economy. And the most amazing thing is when a start-up is transformed into a global brand. That's the kind of success story we want for Hong Kong.

     Last month, I visited Level 39 of TechCity in London. It is a new space for financial technology start-ups and accelerator programmes. I learnt about how the UK Government has implemented specific policies to encourage local people and overseas investors to found or to invest in new ventures.

     Countries, like the UK, are keen to cultivate an ecosystem that nurtures ideas and innovation, and transform them into flourishing and sustainable enterprises. Some of them are well on their way to achieving that. And here in Hong Kong, we are redoubling our efforts to raise our city's emerging status as one of the world's increasingly important hubs for global entrepreneurs and start-ups.

     Hong Kong actually has all the conditions favourable for quality start-ups, both local and overseas, to flourish, and it is well placed to leverage its enduring advantages in support of such ventures. Our city is most definitely the right place for you, I think, to turn your brilliant ideas into a scalable enterprise and to expand your business globally.

     We need only to look at what is happening in Hong Kong this week. As well as today's event, start-ups have access to a wide range of events in Hong Kong, including InnoAsia, Business of Design Week, the Innovation Design Technology Expo, the World SME Expo, and many more. At each of these events, thought leaders, service providers and successful start-up entrepreneurs are volunteering their time as well as sharing their successes and lessons learned.

     A host of venues in Hong Kong, including co-work spaces, have held sessions and workshops this week to allow budding entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to would-be angel investors and exchange practical experiences.

     I hope you enjoy all these activities, especially today's Forum, and find them useful when starting up or growing your business in our city. We are all here to support you, particularly Invest Hong Kong, which provides a one-stop service platform for overseas start-up entrepreneurs who want to set up or expand in our city.

     Last but not least, I would like to congratulate the 12 finalists. You have been judged the best out of 384 entries from 39 countries and cities. I look forward to your innovative ideas and wish you all great success in Hong Kong.

     Thank you very much and have a great day.

Ends/Thursday, December 5, 2013
Issued at HKT 14:30


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