Speech by CS at grand inauguration of Hong Kong Design Institute Gallery exhibitions (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the grand inauguration of a series of international exhibitions presented by the Hong Kong Design Institute Gallery this evening (November 28):

Clement (Dr Clement Chen), Carrie (Mrs Carrie Yau), Leslie (Mr Leslie Lu), distinguished Consuls-General, guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good evening. I am most delighted to join you here this evening at the grand inauguration of a series of international exhibitions, which showcase the creative projects and works from Sweden, Switzerland as well as award-winning designs from the Red Dot Design Museum in Germany.  For friends who have travelled from afar to join us today, I warmly welcome you to Hong Kong.

     Design is an integral part of living.  Through this series of exhibitions, we can have a glimpse of a broad spectrum of designs of different disciplines and cultures.  We have poster works, upcycling works, furniture and many other designs and products íV each with a good story to tell.  I am sure the exhibitions would be interesting and educational for both students and the general public.

     It is particularly gratified to know that these exhibitions are taking place in this building as I am sure you agree with me that this building itself is a wonderful piece of architectural design. Creativity holds the key to Hong Kong's development in future.  Our creative industries have in recent years grown at a faster pace than the overall economy. The contribution of Hong Kong's creative industries to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which stood at 4.9 per cent as at end 2012, has increased by an average of 9.6 per cent every year between 2005 and 2012, which is higher than the average GDP growth of 5.6 per cent during the same period.  Design in particular has demonstrated the strongest growth amongst all creative sectors. Its value added has grown more than twofold since 2005. We see promising prospects which creative industries hold for our young people, not only in terms of job offerings for fresh graduates but also business opportunities for young entrepreneurs.  The VTC (Vocational Training Council) and its member institutes have certainly made very significant contributions in this area by building up the necessary creative human capital through their programmes.

     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government attaches great importance to promoting the development of the creative economy.  We set up Create Hong Kong in 2009 as the Government's dedicated agency to spearhead the development of creative industries.  We have a funding scheme called the CreateSmart Initiative, which supports projects conducive to the development of creative industries.  We have also since 2001 provided funding to support the operation and programmes of the Hong Kong Design Centre.  In terms of hardware, we have revitalised the former Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road, which is a Grade 3 historical building, into a creative industries landmark called PMQ, with the Government's funding at HK$560 million.  More than 1 million visitors have already been to PMQ since its opening in mid-April this year.

     To help creative industries develop and prosper, we partner with the trade and relevant stakeholders to nurture talent, groom start-ups, tap new markets and foster a creative atmosphere in the community.  We also embrace creativity and celebrate design excellence.  On this note, I am pleased to gently remind you that the Business of Design Week (BODW), our annual signature programme, is just around the corner.  BODW will be held next week with Sweden as our partner country, and our distinguished Consul-General (of Sweden) is here.  Hong Kong is Asia's events capital.  It comes as no surprise to us and indeed our visitors that we can see the best of Swedish design at the show here and in BODW.  I look forward to this very special week in Hong Kong and hope you will join me in enjoying the creative ambience of our city.

     Last but not the least, I have to express my gratitude to the Hong Kong Design Institute and the Institute of Vocational Training (Lee Wai Lee) for bringing to us these eye-opening and thought-provoking design exhibitions from time to time, like the four exhibitions we are having here today.  These exhibitions help foster greater awareness and appreciation of design in the community.

     I would also like to thank our overseas partners for bringing the best of their home countries' design to Hong Kong through this series of international exhibitions.

     I wish these exhibitions every success.  Have a nice evening. Thank you very much.

Ends/Friday, November 28, 2014
Issued at HKT 20:45