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Speech by SCED at opening of Fashion Asia 2017 Hong Kong (English only)
     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, at the opening of Fashion Asia 2017 Hong Kong today (December 6):
Eric (Chairman of the Hong Kong Design Centre, Professor Eric Yim), Victor (Director of the Hong Kong Design Centre, Mr Victor Lo), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good morning. I am delighted to join you all this morning at the opening ceremony of Fashion Asia 2017 Hong Kong. A very warm welcome to everyone, especially those of you who have travelled from afar to be here.
     The business of fashion is changing at an unprecedented rate. The rise of e-commerce has shortened fashion seasons to a matter of weeks and, as a result, has reshaped shoppers' buying behaviour. The proliferation of social media has transformed the traditional ways of fashion branding, and the new trend of sustainable fashion is also revolutionising people's perception of fashion.
     In such a fast-changing fashion world, we must run to keep abreast of the latest market movements. Thanks to the Hong Kong Design Centre, Fashion Asia 2017 Hong Kong is just what is needed for cutting-edge designers, brand executives, merchandisers and buyers to bounce off ideas on the pertinent issues of the industry, and to provide insights and strategies for industry players to navigate the market ahead of their competitors.
     Fashion trends are, after all, products of the bright minds. There is no shortage in Hong Kong of bright-minded designers. We have a pool of creative talents who are steps ahead of the trend and are all ready to make the next big hit in the fashion sector. In this regard, ladies and gentlemen, may I draw your attention to the "10 Asian Designers to Watch" exhibition at PMQ in Central, a week-long programme also presented by Fashion Asia till December 12. It showcases the brilliant works of 10 Asian rising stars of the fashion industry, including, to my delight and anticipation, two Hong Kong designer brands. Be sure to catch this exhibition to witness the birth of the next new trends.
     Indeed, Hong Kong is well positioned to be the trendsetter of the fashion world. With a long-established apparel and garment industry and a reservoir of locally and internationally trained talents who are renowned for their creativity and versatility, the fashion design sector has tremendous potential for growth in Hong Kong.
     This term of Government is committed to devoting more resources to support Hong Kong's design and fashion industries. In her Policy Address in October, the Chief Executive has announced the injection in one go of an extra $1 billion into the CreateSmart Initiative, or CSI for short, which is a dedicated government fund that supports initiatives to promote the creative industries.
     A major emphasis of the CSI is on talent nurturing, and to this end we will continue to devote resources to the Fashion Incubation Programme and other talent exchange or internship programmes for grooming talents in the fashion and design fields. There is also much room for development by combining design and industry. We are actively looking into ways for young designers to make full use of the traditional base for apparel and fabrics in a Hong Kong district known as Sham Shui Po to create new synergy, drive the local economy and enrich the tourism resources of the district.
     Before I close, allow me to sincerely thank the Hong Kong Design Centre for organising this great event. I hope you all enjoy the programmes.
     Thank you very much.
Ends/Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Issued at HKT 11:04
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