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European industrial designer tells compelling Hong Kong success story at Belgian exhibition of his work (English only) (with photos)

     Hong Kong-based industrial designer Mr Michael Young has told an audience of designers, architects and related professionals in Belgium about the creative opportunities he found in Hong Kong after settling in the city 10 years ago.

     Mr Young was speaking at a lecture in the evening on January 30 (Belgium time) before the opening of "AL(L)", an exhibition of his works in aluminium, curated by Maria-Cristina Didero, which is being held at the Centre for Innovation and Design at Le Grand-Hornu, near Mons in Belgium, until May 29.

     Mr Young established his studio in Hong Kong in 2006 with the assistance of Invest Hong Kong. From Hong Kong, Mr Young created a prosperous distribution network around the world. He has found the city a convenient base to tap the skills of Mainland China's manufacturing industry and created iconic, award-winning designs, ranging from headphones and furniture to glassware, watches, bicycles and lighting.

     Mr Young said that what he loves in Hong Kong is the speed, efficiency and direct access to Mainland China and its industry.

     "Hong Kong is a serious city and a raw environment. There is no talk, just action. But I can do things there that other cities cannot offer," he said.

     He found that he had access to seemingly unlimited manufacturing potential, which pushed him to stretch the possibilities of design and manufacturing.

     Introducing Mr Young, the Deputy Representative at the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels, Miss Alice Choi, said Hong Kong is a thriving creative centre.

     "There is no better place for international designers to turn their creativity into business," she said.

     Miss Choi said Hong Kong is a showcase in Asia for the latest in local and international fashion and design. It is also in full swing in developing its strengths in innovation and technology. In fact, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, has chosen Hong Kong as the location for its first overseas Innovation Node to be established next summer.

     "The creative industries have grown rapidly in recent years and the Hong Kong Government is committed to supporting these important drivers for our economy. We have dedicated agencies, strong funding for start-ups, a pool of venture capitalists and incubation programmes, like the Design Incubation Programme at the Hong Kong Design Centre's InnoCentre."

     Hong Kong is one of the world's most business-friendly cities, with low and simple taxes, including an avoidance of double taxation agreement with Belgium; first-class infrastructure; highly competitive business and professional services; excellent logistics; zero tolerance for corruption; free flows of information and ideas; and a robust intellectual property protection regime. Starting a business in Hong Kong is quick and easy.

     Miss Choi said Hong Kong is keen to attract international talents armed with skills, knowledge and experience to realise their dreams in the city. The Government has recently relaxed immigration admission measures for talented professionals and entrepreneurs, which makes it easier for overseas talents to live in Hong Kong.

     "Today we have the chance to admire Michael Young's innovative works in aluminium. Who knows if your turn will be next? I hope that you will get inspired and seize the opportunities that Hong Kong offers to designers," she said.

     The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue which includes a contribution by the Design and Architecture Curator at M+, Mr Aric Chen.

     For more information on the exhibition, visit

Ends/Monday, February 1, 2016
Issued at HKT 21:32


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