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SCED's opening remarks at StartmeupHK Festival Launch Reception (English only)
     Following is the opening remarks by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the StartmeupHK Festival Launch Reception today (November 1):

Charles (Acting Director-General of Investment Promotion, Mr Charles Ng), friends and members of the start-up, investor and business community,

     Good evening. It is my great pleasure to be here with you to launch the 2017 StartmeupHK Festival.

     Thanks to you all, Hong Kong has been consistently ranked as one of the strongest start-up hubs in the world. We are a city most famous for its vibrancy and entrepreneurial spirit. Disruptors from all over the world are taking advantage of our favourable environment and conditions to create businesses that literally change the world.

     Here, we ensure the fastest and most scalable "go to market" process. Other than funding, innovators and start-ups in Hong Kong can also easily locate top-notch designers, electronic component manufacturers, R&D (research and development), state-of-the-art supply chain management, just-in-time transport as well as global delivery and distribution services.

     In a nutshell, Hong Kong has the community, resources and opportunities to turn your great ideas into reality. The synergy and growth that we are seeing in our start-up ecosystem is indeed nothing short of amazing.

     Invest Hong Kong recently conducted its 2016 Startup Profiling Survey, and I am happy to share with you that the number of start-ups has risen from 1 558 in 2015 to 1 926 - that is a 24 per cent year-on-year increase. And the number of jobs created was 5 229, an astonishing 41 per cent year-on-year increase compared to 2015.

     With the 2017 StartmeupHK Festival all set to kick off, things are about to get even better. The weeklong programme offers a range of activities taking place at multiple venues, and we expect thousands of participants coming from the local and overseas start-up communities.

     I encourage all of you to mark your diary, get behind the festival, actively take part in the programme and contribute to its success. You will get to engage with start-ups, investors and thought leaders from around the world. We look forward to another fruitful week where ideas are exchanged, alliances and partnerships are formed, and business opportunities are created.

     Last but not least, I want to take this opportunity to thank the "Vertical Champions" who are organising the core events of the festival. These include Anson Bailey from KPMG, Dr Winnie Tang and the rest of the team at Smart City Consortium, Rob Findlay and Matt Dooley from Next Money, Karin Munasinghe from APAC Biohealth, Steve Monaghan from AIA and Jasper Chung of Inside Retail.

     Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you are as excited as I am about the festival and the untapped opportunities Hong Kong has to offer to the global start-up community. Let us all raise our glass to members of our start-up ecosystem, for their innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that makes this city an incredible place to work and live in.

     Thank you.
Ends/Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:48
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