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Speech by CE at opening of International IT Fest 2014 cum Hong Kong ICT Awards 2014 Awards Presentation Ceremony (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at the opening of the International IT Fest 2014 cum Hong Kong ICT Awards 2014 Awards Presentation Ceremony at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this evening (April 7):

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good evening.

     It is my great pleasure to join you all for the Hong Kong ICT Awards Presentation Ceremony. Also, a very warm welcome to everyone taking part in the International IT Fest 2014.

     Through a variety of events, IT Fest brings together industry leaders to share their ideas and address the big question of what's next for IT.

     Here in Hong Kong, innovation and technology is a powerful driving force for our economy. It enhances our global competitiveness. It also makes our life easier, and safer and more comfortable.

     It is important for Hong Kong to remain at the cutting edge of ICT (information and communications technology) development and maintain a highly efficient ICT infrastructure and good business for innovation environment. The business receipts and other income generated from Hong Kong's ICT sector amounted to more than $1,400 billion, with value added reaching $115 billion, representing 6.1 per cent of our GDP in 2011.

     ICT also helps to expand the capacity and strengthen the competitiveness of other key industries, including financial services, logistics and international trade.

     To sustain the development of our ICT industry, the Government encourages entrepreneurship and supports the germination and growth of tech start-ups in Hong Kong. We provide all-round support for tech start-ups. Recently, we launched an interactive portal, iStartup@HK, to provide integrated and user-friendly information for tech start-ups. It also serves as a platform for start-ups to reach out to potential investors, providing them with more pitching and networking opportunities. We are committed to fostering a vibrant ecosystem for tech start-ups to flourish, which in turn will boost the sustainable development of our ICT industry.

     To provide sharp focus on the policies and objectives for promoting innovation, applied science, technology and information technology in Hong Kong, we are planning to set up an Innovation and Technology Bureau. I hope that all of you will lend your support to this initiative. Of course, we also need the support of the Legislative Council.

     The first International IT Fest held last year attracted more than 46,000 participants and won strong support from the industry. This year, the IT Fest comprises more than 38 events across various domains with something for everyone to enjoy.

     An annual highlight for the industry in Hong Kong is the ICT Awards, which was launched in 2006 to promote innovation and excellence among local professionals and enterprises. Over the years, the ICT Awards has served as a springboard for "Made in Hong Kong" ICT innovations to excel further in the international arena. This year, we have received a record number of more than 1,100 entries competing for the top honours.

     It just remains for me to congratulate all the Award winners and to thank the judging panel and all the judges for putting in extra time and hard work to make this year's ICT Awards another great success.

     I also congratulate the organisers of the International IT Fest 2014. Thanks to your commitment and spirit of collaboration we can look forward to a fabulous fortnight of ICT highlights and insights.

     I wish you all a very enjoyable International IT Fest 2014.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Monday, April 7, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:50


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