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Speech by CS at EMBA Association Charity Dinner 2018 (English only)
     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, at EMBA Association Charity Dinner 2018 co-organised by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) EMBA Association, CityU EMBA Association Charity Trust and CityU College of Business today (April 27):

Aley (Chairman of CityU EMBA Association, Mr Aley Chang), Haywood (Honorary Chairman of EMBA Association Charity Trust, Dr Haywood Cheung), Professor Yan (Dean of College of Business, Professor Yan Houmin), John (EMBA Programme Director, Dr John Leung), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good evening. I am honoured to join you all here at the EMBA Association Charity Dinner. Every year, this auspicious occasion brings together current participants and alumni of the programme, members of the City University of Hong Kong and the business community to strengthen professional links and exchange views on issues of mutual interest.

     First of all, my warmest congratulations to CityU's College of Business for its excellent research contribution that has earned it the second ranking in Asia in the latest UT Dallas Business School Ranking. The College established the EMBA programme in 1997 with an aim to nurture an elite corps with global vision, international network and social responsibilities. This echoes well with the vision of this term of Government in talent development.

     We believe that talent is the most important element to propel Hong Kong forward and education is the key to nurturing talent. The lion's share of government recurrent expenditure on education is therefore the most meaningful investment for our future. Indeed, for every $100 we spend from the recurrent budget, $20.8 goes to education!

     The sound education infrastructure, renowned universities and outstanding research personnel in Hong Kong help not only to cultivate our future generations, but also train talents for the Mainland and neighbouring regions. Given the benefits that a wider pool of talent can bring to our economic and social development, we are determined to play an active role in establishing our position as a talent hub.

     This vision is no lip service. Immediately after taking office in July last year, the current-term Government increased the annual recurrent provision for education by $3.6 billion to launch an array of improvement measures covering the whole spectrum of our education system. Last October, the Chief Executive committed in her inaugural Policy Address further support and resources to the education sector.  What is more, the 2018-19 Budget announced in February this year proposes to allocate an additional recurrent provision of $2 billion to boost quality education.

     The Policy Address has also identified eight areas for in-depth review, namely professional development of teachers, curriculum arrangement, assessment system, vocational and professional education and training, self-financing post-secondary education, school-based management, parent education and the University Grants Committee (UGC)'s funding on research. Just half a year after the announcement of the Policy Address, we have established relevant task forces with renowned experts and professionals drawn from the education and related sectors to lead the reviews full steam ahead.

     Our universities are indispensable players in grooming high-calibre talent for Hong Kong. To this end, we have set aside no less than $10 billion for university research subject to the review outcome of the UGC's Task Force on Review of Research Policy and Funding. We will also inject $3 billion into the Research Endowment Fund to provide studentships for local students admitted to UGC-funded research postgraduate programmes with a view to encouraging more local students to engage in research work in support of the development of innovation and technology.

     The Budget announced in February this year further allocated $2.5 billion for launching the eighth round of the Matching Grant Scheme to help publicly-funded post-secondary institutions including CityU to tap more funding sources, promote community involvement and improve the quality of higher education.

     Financial support aside, we have launched the Hong Kong Scholarship for "Belt and Road" Students to attract outstanding students from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to pursue undergraduate studies in Hong Kong to broaden our young people's horizon. We will continue to extend the Scholarship scheme to more Belt and Road countries. Reciprocally, we have also introduced a new subsidy scheme to encourage and support students in Hong Kong to participate in exchange programmes in the Belt and Road region.

     At the policy level, we have set up the Human Resources Planning Commission, which is chaired by me – the Chief Secretary for Administration. This high-level Commission aims at formulating policy initiatives to nurture local talent for different industries and attract talents from other places more proactively to ensure that Hong Kong will keep up with evolving trends in the global market and our motherland's latest developments, including the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area development.

     However, Government's effort alone is not enough. We need the support of different sectors of the community to enhance Hong Kong's training capacity. CityU certainly has an impressive list of achievements to establish strategic networks between Hong Kong's professionals and their counterparts elsewhere. The EMBA programme introduced two decades ago is a pioneer in this regard. It was followed by the establishment of the Research Centre on issues related to Belt and Road in 2013, and the International Public Private Partnership Specialist Centre of Excellence for Public Transport Logistics set up in collaboration with Tsinghua University and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in 2016. The latest visionary initiative of the University is the MoU signed with the Huizhou Municipal Government in February this year to develop an interdisciplinary platform for strengthening collaboration in key areas including information technologies and food safety.

     Ladies and gentlemen, this term of Government is committed to nurturing local talent to strengthen Hong Kong's competitiveness and provide more opportunities for upward mobility among young people. I would like to express once again my sincerest gratitude to CityU for being our close partner in the pursuit of this endeavour all along. I look forward to the continuous support from CityU in the years ahead.

     On this note, I wish the CityU and its EMBA programme continuous success and every one of you an enjoyable evening. Thank you.
Ends/Friday, April 27, 2018
Issued at HKT 21:08
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