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Speech by FS at inauguration ceremony for Thomson Reuters' new consolidated office (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, at the inauguration ceremony for Thomson Reuters' new consolidated office this evening (April 25):

Sanjeev (Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Financial and Risk, Thomson Reuters, Mr Sanjeev Chatrath), James (Managing Director, North Asia, Financial and Risk, Thomson Reuters, Mr James Mirfin),  distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good afternoon. Or perhaps good evening? Since the time has passed 6pm perhaps I should just wish you all a good day.

     Today is definitely a good one for me because I have the great to be here with you all. My thanks to Thomson Reuters for making this happen.

     Beyond the time of day, what about timing in general? How do we grasp that hovering moment between endings and beginnings? The turning of a stock market, or perhaps the ebbing or flowing of a business boom or opportunity? The shift in fortune of an industry, a company or an individual?

     And for that, for prudent decision-making in general, we need all the information that we can get. Solid, up-to-date information. And where do we find that?

     About 70 years ago, celebrated economist Frederick Hayek turned the argument for rational planning on its head, arguing that knowledge is dispersed, that information is imperfect. Not to worry, he added, because price communicates information and co-ordinates the decisions of countless individuals and companies.

     His insight is no less relevant today. As mere mortals, like most of us here, our dispersed knowledge and imperfect information are now balanced by the emergence of big data, as Sanjeev has just mentioned, which has enabled us to capture even more insights and ideas than ever before.

     Big-data analytics are a key component of Fintech. The application and development of Fintech has created a whole new world of possibilities for traditional financial institutions, such as banks, as well as telecommunication companies, e-commerce enterprises and some start-ups. Fintech is also a central tool among Thomson Reuters' customer-centred offerings.

     Intelligent information - on emerging risks, on changing consumer sentiment, evolving market trends and more - helps major financial institutions customise their products and solutions for their customers. It also helps them to formulate strategies for developing new products, managing risks as well as improving operational efficiency.

     The opening of this new office, here in in the heart of Hong Kong, speaks convincingly of Thomson Reuters, its strategic vision, its belief in Hong Kong and the region that surrounds us.

     It's a commitment to using Hong Kong as a regional hub for information exchange. A commitment to Hong Kong's professional talent. A commitment, as well, to boosting and expanding its customer base here in Hong Kong.

     Your corporate vision, I am pleased to note, reflects that of the Hong Kong Government. As I have made clear in my Budget delivered in February this year, innovation and technology development is a policy priority for us. And we are rolling out a variety of initiatives to complement industry efforts in driving innovation.

     That includes Fintech. Among other things, we shall establish a dedicated team, under InvestHK, to help Fintech start-ups, to help investors and R&D institutions establish their presence here in our city.

     Cyberport will kickstart the next generation of Fintech start-ups and talent. And our financial regulators will set up offices to enhance communication with the Fintech community.

     The breakthroughs in innovative technologies, together with the shifting of the global economic centre of gravity to the East, have forged what I called a "new economic order" and that is sweeping through the global economy. And if we hope to remain relevant, if we hope to seize the opportunities of this new economic order, we need to embrace innovation.

     We need, as well, to remain faithful to the spirit of Hayek, generating, communicating, and understanding information.

     Taking advantage of our stock market, and our financial services professionals - at smart companies like Thomson Reuters - Hong Kong will thrive in this century of innovation and technology. And of that, I am confident.

     However imperfect my information may be.

     So thank you very much. And do have a good day. Thank you.

Ends/Monday, April 25, 2016
Issued at HKT 20:13


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