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Speech by CS at opening ceremony of Fine Art Asia 2015 (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the opening ceremony of Fine Art Asia 2015 this afternoon (October 3):

Andy (Mr Andy Hei), Calvin (Mr Calvin Hui) (Co-chairmen and Directors of Fine Art Asia), Ambassador (Ambassador of Switzerland in China, Mr Jean-Jacques de Dardel), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good evening. It gives me great pleasure to join you all today at the opening ceremony of Fine Art Asia 2015.

     It is already the third time in a row that I open Fine Art Asia, which has come to celebrate its 10th Anniversary this year. I am really delighted to see this remarkable home-grown arts fair grow and flourish. Since its inception in 2006, Fine Art Asia has been bringing in high-quality art and antique pieces from both Asia and the West every year, and has already earned its reputation as one of Asia's best international fine art fairs. The Fair is now an important event in the cultural calendar of major Asian collectors, dealers and connoisseurs.

     The presence of major arts fairs including Fine Art Asia in Hong Kong has contributed to our current position as one of the top three arts auction centres in the world, along with New York and London. And the figures speak for themselves. Between the year 2005 and 2013, art, antiques and crafts is one of the fastest growing sectors in the cultural and creative industries in Hong Kong in terms of value added to our Gross Domestic Product, increasing from HK$ 4.2 billion to HK$ 13.6 billion. I shall add that design is also the other fast growing sector, with value added to GDP rising from just HK$1 billion in the year 2005 to HK$3.7 billion in 2013. It is therefore very timely for this year's Fine Art Asia to include a new project "The World of Design". This indicates clearly Hong Kong's status as the focal point of the arts market in Asia. I am proud to say that this status is underpinned by our simple tax system, our good business environment, our legal system, our law and order and our highly efficient logistics sector. The one area that we need to work harder and perhaps to do better is the provision of space for exhibition and convention purposes.

     To give our arts industry a greater push, the Government is investing heavily in both hardware and software. As everyone knows, we are now developing the West Kowloon Cultural District. We have just achieved another milestone in the construction of M+, the flagship museum for contemporary visual culture in Hong Kong, as the contract for the main works was awarded last week. At the same time, we are also renovating Hong Kong Museum of Art with a view to providing more exhibition spaces. On the software side, we are undertaking a number of measures to nurture local arts professionals, including artists and art administrators, as well as to build audiences. For example, through the various arts education programmes and community activities, we are facilitating the promotion of arts in the community. In collaboration with the Palace Museum and other renowned museums overseas, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department is mounting major arts exhibitions which have attracted a large number of local and overseas visitors. These initiatives will help consolidate and enhance Hong Kong's position as a cultural metropolis.

     Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you will enjoy, as much as I do, the diversified collection of artworks presented by 100 world-renowned galleries at this year's Fine Art Asia.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Saturday, October 3, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:52


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