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SCED's speech at GS1 Hong Kong 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the GS1 Hong Kong 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner today (December 17):

Mr Phi (Chairman of GS1 Hong Kong, Mr Joseph Phi), Ms Lin (Chief Executive of GS1 Hong Kong, Ms Anna Lin), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good evening. It is my great pleasure to join you all at the GS1 Hong Kong 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner. First and foremost, I would like to congratulate GS1 for its 25th anniversary. For a quarter of century, GS1 has been dedicated to the design and implementation of global supply chain standards. It helps our business community improve supply chain efficiency and thrive in the global marketplace.

     How? Take barcode for example. Nowadays, barcode is a necessary element in the global supply chain business, facilitating retail automation, efficient shipping, warehouse storage and inventory management. And GS1 literally sets the barcode standards. Companies routinely come to GS1 to get a barcode number for their products.

     It is therefore a real pleasure for us, the Government, to be working closely with GS1. Together hand in hand, we help our business community enhance competitiveness through the use of technologies. For example, partnering with our Sector-specific Programme by OGCIO (Office of the Government Chief Information Officer), GS1 successfully developed an innovative app "Consumer Connect". I remember demonstrating this app to my fellow LegCo (Legislative Council) members in one of our oral queries. Simply by scanning the 2D barcode of a product with mobile phone, the app will show the latest product information and verify its authenticity instantly. Consumer Connect not only empowers efficient marketing but also enhances customers' trust on product authenticity, as well as brand value and loyalty.

     Another example, partnering with our Innovation and Technology Fund, GS1 successfully developed the ezTrack platform. This platform uses RFID technology to enable real-time visibility of goods and information flow, from the point of manufacturing to the point of destination. The platform contributes significantly to supply chain efficiency. It helps reinforce Hong Kong's image as a trading and logistics hub in the Asia Pacific region.

     GS1 also set up the Internet of Things (IoT) Centre of Excellence at the Hong Kong Science Park in 2013. The Centre comprises five zones, namely manufacturing, logistics, retail, healthcare and smart city. It provides live demonstrations of various IoT technologies. Through these demonstrations, the Centre facilitates local enterprises to better understand the potential of IoT.

     Speaking of IoT, a couple of weeks ago, I invited some startup entrepreneurs and established industrialists to have a brainstorming session on this topic, in particular how we should position our industrial sector to harness the advantages of IoT. IoT has been generating a lot of excitement, and I truly believe it has the potential to transform our industrial landscape. With concerted efforts from the government and the private sector, we will help our local enterprises capitalise on the latest trends and technology on IoT, so that they may take full advantage of the opportunities that this new era presents.

     What's more? GS1 helps achieve the vision of "Smarter Hong Kong, Smarter Living" by being the leading organiser of a new category "Best Smart Hong Kong Award" in the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2015. With the expertise of GS1 in the app domains, we are confident that the new award will encourage the development of more smart-city apps for the betterment of society.

     I would like to close with a saying from an American poet, Emily Dickinson, "You turn not older in years, but newer every day." ICT empowers this evolution and even, I would say, metamorphosis. GS1 has been an instrumental force behind this ICT-driven metamorphosis, especially in the logistics and retail practices. I wish GS1 great success in its pursuit of excellence and technological innovation. And I wish you all an enjoyable evening.

     Thank you.

Ends/Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Issued at HKT 20:34


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