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Speech by FS at GS1 HK 30th Anniversary Dinner (English only)
     Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, at the GS1 HK 30th Anniversary Dinner today (March 12):
Kelvin (Vice Chairman of GS1 Hong Kong, Dr Kelvin Leung), Anna (The Chief Executive of GS1 Hong Kong, Ms Anna Lin), 劉部長 (Deputy Director-General of the Economic Affairs Department and Head of the Commercial Office of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr Liu Yajun), government colleagues, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good evening.
     It is a great pleasure to be here tonight to celebrate with you the 30th anniversary of GS1 Hong Kong.
     GS1 got its start in 1989, as the Hong Kong Article Numbering Association, introducing global barcode standards to Hong Kong. Today, I'm told, barcodes are scanned some 6 billion times a day, enabling companies, here in Hong Kong and all over the world to bring efficiency to their supply chains.

     Hong Kong has long taken pride in ensuring a level playing field for business. GS1 Hong Kong, I'm pleased to say, has been instrumental in levelling our playing field.

     The non-profit standards organisation counts some 8 000 corporate members in nearly 20 industries, from consumer goods and food services to healthcare, logistics, information technology and more. On top of boosting supply chain efficiency, GS1 offers advice and support, and helps transform companies through innovative solutions and new technologies.

     This evening's theme, "30 Years of Success", says it all.

     Over these last three decades, Hong Kong has thrived as well, transforming from a regional manufacturing hub into a leading global financial and logistics centre.

     Over the past few years, we have also been emerging as a regional innovation and technology (I&T) hub.

     Since the establishment of the Innovation and Technology Bureau in November 2015, the Government has committed about $130 billion towards I&T initiatives and programmes. And we're just getting going.

     Consider, for example, the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong. Since the document's release in December 2017, we have been working on more than 70 initiatives outlined in the Blueprint.

     We are, I'm pleased to note, making good progress, particularly in the digital transformation of Hong Kong. Next year, we will launch an electronic identity (eID) programme for all Hong Kong residents. The eID will serve as a single digital authentication, enabling individuals to conduct government and commercial transactions online, simply, conveniently and securely.

     Down the digital road, eID will promote the development of such emerging sectors as e-commerce, digital trade and online payment.

     Open data is pivotal to the realisation of the smart city. Under the new open-data policy, government bureaux and departments will release data through our open data portal, to be used freely by the public, unless, of course, there are valid reasons not to; say, to protect privacy. The number of open datasets will increase to nearly 4 000 by the end of this year from about 3 300 now.

     By mid-year, we will also begin to install smart lampposts in select areas. Equipped with sensors and Internet of Things devices, they will capture traffic, weather and other real-time city data for analysis and better city management. Such data will also be open to the public free of charge.

     And there's much more innovation and technology on the way. The Smart Government Innovation Lab will be launched in April to strengthen co-ordination and promotion of the use of I&T products and solutions in the Government. Through the Lab, local SMEs and start-ups will be invited to submit proposals for I&T applications and products for different public services.

     At every smart step of the way, I know we can count on GS1 Hong Kong for standards-based services and solutions that connect government, business and the Hong Kong community. In doing so, GS1 Hong Kong optimises efficiency, creating value, and helping us all excel.

     I wish you all a wonderful evening and record-setting standards, professionally and personally, in the year to come.

     Thank you.
Ends/Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Issued at HKT 20:11
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