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Speech by SCED at opening ceremony of incubation programme centres of Hong Kong Design Centre (English only)
     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, at the opening ceremony of the Design Incubation Programme Centre and the Fashion Incubation Programme Centre of Hong Kong Design Centre today (August 17):
Eric (Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hong Kong Design Centre, Professor Eric Yim), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good afternoon. It is my great pleasure to join you today at the opening ceremony of the new incubation centres of the Design Incubation Programme (DIP) and Fashion Incubation Programme (FIP) here at the Kowloon Bay Centre of the Clothing Industry Training Authority.
     Hong Kong's asset has always been our talent. Careful nurturing is essential to unleash the full potential of our young generation who have a keen interest in fashion and design. And in a knowledge economy like Hong Kong that is working to take the development of creative industries to the next, higher level, the importance of nurturing talent to lead us through this task cannot be over-stated.
     The Government attaches great importance to design, which is one of the most prominent pillars of Hong Kong's creative industries. It generates over $4.1 billion for our economy a year and attained 15 per cent annual growth over the past decade. Value aside, design is an area that the Government and the society seek to promote. The support the Government provides to the programme today is an obvious example.
     The two incubation programmes have been very aptly designed to provide much-needed support for our young design and fashion start-ups. With two years of intensive and all-round support, including free rental for office premises, financial assistance, mentorship programme, etc, our young designers are given a comfortable and conducive environment to mature and excel.
     Since the establishment of the Design Incubation Programme in 2006, it is encouraging indeed to see over 200 start-ups having been nurtured and over 280 international and local awards won. Such a remarkable score card not only speaks for the talent and strength of the incubatees, but also clearly demonstrates the success of the programmes.
     The opening of the new incubation centres today signifies added arenas for the continuing growth of the incubation programmes. And I look forward to seeing more and more shining designers coming out from these new centres to contribute to the development of our design industry.
     Apart from nurturing talent by providing full funding support for the two incubation programmes, we also fund large-scale events such as the annual Business of Design Week to provide a platform for designers to network, exchange and explore business opportunities; and we promote local designers' works in the international arena by supporting their participation in trade exhibitions or Design Weeks. In all this important work, I am most grateful to say that the Hong Kong Design Centre has always been the Government's loyal and trusted partner.
     My best wishes also go to the incubatees who have decided to join these invaluable incubation programmes. Rest assured that you are in very good hands and I wish you every success in your future endeavours. Thank you.
Ends/Thursday, August 17, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:25
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