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Speech by CE at Asia Smartphone Apps Summit cum Award Ceremony (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at the Asia Smartphone Apps Summit cum Award Ceremony today (June 18):

Mr Cheung (Cheung To, Chairman of Hong Kong Wireless Technology Industry Association), ladies and gentlemen,

     Good morning. It gives me great pleasure to be here today for the Asia Smartphone Apps Summit cum Award Ceremony.

     This is the third edition, and what I find particularly gratifying is the growing regional nature of the awards. Nearly 60 per cent of some 120 entries came from outside Hong Kong - from Mainland China and Singapore, as well as Israel, Japan, Korea and Malaysia.

     In short, the Asia Smartphone Apps Contest has, in three short years, emerged as the leading competition of its kind in Asia, a regional stage for recognising talent and creativity, while promoting collaboration among mobile app developers.

     In doing so, the contest both reflects, and amplifies, the interest and enthusiasm in mobile apps in Asia. Indeed, Statista, one of the world's largest statistics portals, projects that mobile app revenue in the Asia-Pacific will exceed 23 billion euros this year and 36 billion euros by 2020.

     I'm sure I don't have to tell you that smartphones and mobile apps are popular in Hong Kong. Most of you are holding one or more as I speak. A few of you, no doubt, are using yours right now. The numbers underline the ubiquity of the smartphone here.

     Hong Kong's mobile penetration rate stands at 237 per cent, with more than 12.5 million smartphone subscribers. That is 173 per cent of the total population of Hong Kong. According to a recent Google study, 74 per cent of Hong Kong people use smartphones. That's among the highest penetration rates in the region. In short, smartphones and mobile apps have become an integral part of our everyday lives.

     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is no less committed to the smartphone. Our departments are continually delivering customised, on-demand mobile services to the public. To date, we have launched 72 mobile websites and 112 mobile apps. These enable quick and convenient access to government information and services. And that instant access will only continue to expand. And for good reason.

     In this day and age, data is everything. And to help app developers come up with innovative applications, we are making available public-sector information in digital formats, providing raw data for big-data analytics, creative meshing, building apps and other value-added uses.

     Today, you can find more than 4 000 data sets in 18 classified categories on the public-sector information portal. More than 70 mobile apps have been developed from the data, bringing convenience to the public, enhancing opportunities for business and delivering social benefits to the community. Rest assured, we will continue to enrich the portal, continue to spur innovation.

     Mobile apps have become the communications bridge among individuals, enterprises, organisations, communities and a vast body of ever-growing information. App developers are instrumental in building this bridge, in streamlining it, in ensuring that it is effective, user-friendly and up-to-the-minute.

     Hong Kong is the perfect place to launch and grow your mobile apps. We have a liberalised market. The city has open borders, our people open minds. Hong Kong provides a level playing field for overseas competitors. Our telecommunications infrastructure is sophisticated and world-class. The regulatory regime is sound, including a robust intellectual property protection system.  

     Most important of all, we have a tech savvy population which is open to new ideas and eager to try new apps. I can't find any other places more suitable for launching your mobile apps than Hong Kong.

     The Asia Smartphone Apps Summit and Contest helps highlight our advantages. For that, my thanks to the organiser, the Hong Kong Wireless Technology Industry Association, and its international partners.

     My congratulations, as well, to the contest winners - and to everyone who took part in this contest. Your enthusiasm, your creativity, and your unwavering pursuit of excellence are helping to propel Asia to the forefront in focused app creation and big-picture technological development.  

     Thank you.

Ends/Thursday, June 18, 2015
Issued at HKT 13:25


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