SCED's speech at HKQAA 25th anniversary celebration cocktail reception (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) 25th anniversary celebration cocktail reception today (November 28):

Dr Hon Lo Wai-kwok, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good afternoon. It is my great pleasure to join you here today at the 25th anniversary celebration cocktail reception of the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency. First of all, my warmest congratulations to the Agency on its Silver Jubilee.

     What is the one factor that sets you apart from today's ultra-competitive marketplace? Most of you will agree that quality is the market differentiator for almost all products and services. Quality builds up the brand and makes the product or service more profitable.

     How then do you ensure quality is built into the product or service? That is where quality assurance comes into play. Quality assurance is a proactive process that helps your businesses gain confidence of their customers, increase competiveness and sustain business growth.

     Over the years, the Agency has been assisting Hong Kong enterprises to enhance their competitiveness in the development of quality, environmental care, safety, hygiene and social management systems. Apart from organising seminars to keep our trade abreast of the latest market trends and requirements, the Agency provides a full spectrum of services to help enterprises improve their management in accordance with international standards, including certification and conformity assessment services, as well as survey and research. In recent years, the Agency has also launched a number of initiatives to promote energy and carbon management, barrier-free accessibility and corporate social responsibility, and provide the trade with useful management tools that cater for social aspirations.

     The Government is committed to providing support for Hong Kong enterprises to strengthen their competitiveness. For example, the Trade and Industry Department operates various SME funding schemes, including the SME Development Fund which provides financial support to non-profit-distributing organisations to implement projects that aim to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong's SMEs. We will also continue to implement the $1 billion Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales to assist Hong Kong enterprises in developing brands, upgrading and restructuring their business operations and exploring domestic sales in the Mainland. I encourage our trade to make good use of these schemes.

     Hong Kong's economic accomplishments are the fruit of the concerted efforts of the community and the Government over the years. We are committed to maintaining a favourable environment for enterprises to flourish in. We will continue to help enterprises stand up to intense competition.

     To end, I wish to thank the Agency for its contribution for enhancing the competitiveness of Hong Kong enterprises in the past 25 years. And I also wish the Agency every success in the years to come.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Friday, November 28, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:52