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Speech by FS at joint opening ceremony of HKTDC Fairs 2015 (English only)(with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, at the joint opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Houseware Fair, Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair, and Hong Kong Gifts and Premium Fair held by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this morning (April 20):

Jeffrey (Lam), Margaret (Fong), Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good morning. Welcome to Hong Kong.

     It gives me great pleasure to join you all today at the Joint Opening Ceremony of three of our largest fairs: the Hong Kong Houseware Fair, the Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair and the Hong Kong Gifts and Premium Fair.

     The common denominator of the Houseware Fair and the Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair which open today, is clearly the home. And on that note, someone kindly referred me to a quote from Cuban-American journalist and TV host Ellie Rodriguez. She said, "The light is what guides you home, the warmth is what keeps you there."

     Well, "warmth" is certainly important. But warmth can't always do it alone. Today, the sweetness in "home sweet home" would turn a bit sour without the essentials, the indulgences and the comforts of homeware. I'm talking about stylish interior design, I'm talking about luxurious bath and beauty offerings, state-of-the-art kitchenware, stunning textiles and must-have home furnishings.

     And that's why you're here today. To fill the home - the homes of Hong Kong, the homes of Asia and also the homes of the world - with consumer heat. With the buzz, the beauty and the sheer pleasure that the hottest design and technology can bring to homeware.

     Hong Kong can do it. Indeed, Hong Kong has a long and rewarding history as an international sourcing centre, not only for houseware, but also for gifts and premium products.

     Last year, Hong Kong exported US$38 billion (HK$298 billion) worth of houseware products, accounting for about eight per cent of our total exports.

     We also exported some US$25 billion (HK$193 billion) of gifts, premium and novelty products to the world. The Gifts and Premium Fair, which opens next week, will unveil the latest gift and premium market trends, and provide a not-to-be missed platform for innovative ideas.

     We've been successful for a variety of reasons. These include our strategic location as the gateway for the Mainland of China as well as for the Asian markets, also our world-class infrastructure, our business-friendly environment and wealth of professional services.

     We also boast the Houseware Fair and the Gifts and Premium Fair, which celebrate their 30 years of success today. They started as a joint event three decades ago, and then split into two major fairs owing to the immense response. Over the years, the Houseware Fair has developed as the largest trade show of its kind in Asia, while the Gifts and Premium Fair has become the world's largest.

     The Houseware Fair, together with the concurrent Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair, now in its sixth year, have attracted more than 2 300 exhibitors from 36 countries and regions this year, offering a vast variety of homeware products as well as household textiles.

     Over 4 100 exhibitors from 37 countries and regions are also going to showcase their quality gift products during the Gifts and Premium Fair next week.

     Spend some time at the fairs, and you can't help but notice that these industries, these products and services, are rapidly scaling the value chain. The companies behind them are putting more emphasis on smart design and advanced technology, with targeted branding and marketing strategies that are essential to staying competitive in the global marketplace.

     The rising number of exhibitors and buyers from the Mainland, and other emerging markets, underlines the growing demand for our quality home and gift products. For every home, every cupboard, every closet and corner of the home. For every man, woman, child as well as pet in the family.

     I wish you all every success at the three fairs. And a blazing good year for you - and your home, too.

     Thank you very much and have a good day.

Ends/Monday, April 20, 2015
Issued at HKT 11:36


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