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Speech by SCED at "10 Asian Designers to Watch" Exhibition of Fashion Asia 2016 Hong Kong (English only)
     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the "10 Asian Designers to Watch" Exhibition of Fashion Asia 2016 Hong Kong today (November 27):
Eric (Chairman of the Hong Kong Design Centre, Professor Eric Yim), Victor (Chairman of the Advisory Group on Implementation of Fashion Initiatives, Mr Victor Lo), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     It is my pleasure to join you all at the opening of the "10 Asian Designers to Watch" Exhibition.
     Last month, astronomers looking through the European Southern Observatory's Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) observed newborn red stars dimly shining from the cocoons of dust and gas out of which they formed. Such exciting observations allow scientists to understand more about star formation, and in turn know more about our own planet and the galaxy. 
     I think nothing is more enthralling than observing the formation of a new star. Imagine being able to watch the parade of 10 new stars at the same time! The "10 Asian Designers to Watch" Exhibition gives us just this blissful opportunity. Works of 10 rising Asian stars of exceptional talent and flair have been collated for this week-long showcase. This curated exhibition celebrates innovation, phenomenal design and remarkable craftsmanship, and tells stories through the exhibits. It celebrates the birth of new stars, and shares with us a piece of their minds, full of white hot burning energy. 
     And by observing the new stars, we know more about the entire Asian fashion ecosystem, and how different elements of this ecosystem interact with each other. We are given a glimpse into the greater fashion galaxy, of which Hong Kong is a small but vital part.
     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government attaches great importance to the diversified development of Hong Kong's industries. Hong Kong's fashion industry, with its roots deeply set in the territory's experience in the textiles and clothing industry, propelled by emergence of new, young fashion design talents, is scaling new heights. 
     We are stepping up promotion of Hong Kong fashion designers and brands, strengthening technical support and training for fashion designers, and will soon launch a dedicated incubation programme to groom fashion talents. In formulating support measures, we established and consulted the Advisory Group on Implementation of Fashion Initiatives, comprising mainly of members of the fashion industry. I am glad to see that, under the leadership of Victor, its efforts are beginning to bear fruit.
      The "10 Asian Designers to Watch" Exhibition is an important component of the larger event, "Fashion Asia 2016 Hong Kong", a concurrent event of Business of Design Week 2016. Through synergising these events, we showcase the strength and potential of Asian design artists on the world fashion stage and its many manifestations outside in the galaxy of fashion design.
     I would like to applaud Eric and his team at the Hong Kong Design Centre for organising this Exhibition. My heartfelt thanks also go to the judging panel for making the impossible decisions, and spotting these new stars looking into a vast galaxy full of bright lights. 
     Now, let's go stargazing! Thank you.
Ends/Sunday, November 27, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:00
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