Speech by FS at Hong Kong Management Association David Li Kwok Po College Graduation Ceremony 2022 (English only) (with photos)

     Following is the keynote speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, at the Hong Kong Management Association David Li Kwok Po College Graduation Ceremony 2022 today (July 9):
Michael (Chairman of the Incorporated Management Committee of the Hong Kong Management Association (HKMA) David Li Kwok Po College, Mr Michael Tien), Principal Cheung (Principal of HKMA David Li Kwok Po College, Ms Tracy Cheung), teachers, parents, students, distinguished guests,
     Good afternoon.  It gives me great pleasure to join you on this memorable occasion. Today, we honour the 2021/22 graduates of the Hong Kong Management Association David Li Kwok Po College.
     For graduating students, this auspicious day symbolises a rite of proud passage in your young lives.  You have just completed an important journey.  Today, I join you in celebrating your accomplishments, and congratulate each and every one of you for graduating from your alma mater. I know you take pride in that. 
     I am sure you will look back on your six years of secondary school with many fond memories. Memories, too, of all that you worked so hard to achieve, and of all those in your life – teachers and friends – whom you have met in this welcome place.
     Today also marks the beginning of new adventures. Some of you may go to university and other tertiary institutions, locally or abroad; others may start their careers or pursue opportunities in sports and performing arts.  It is like standing at a crossroad, deciding which direction, which path, to take. The choice is yours. 
     This is also a time where new tests and trials, large and small, will begin. Quite understandably, you may have doubts at this juncture, this pivotal point in your lives.
     We all have doubts in times of uncertainty. As one who has some life experience with such times, allow me to share with you a few pieces of advice.
     First, it is important to have dreams, to imagine possibilities and to pursue them. "Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were.  But without it we go nowhere." Whether your dream is to open a café, become a star athlete, or a professional accountant, pursue those ambitions. They may even inspire other dreams. Embrace them, too. Leave no regrets. 
     Indeed, young people in Hong Kong have wide-ranging talents and aspirations. Creating room for them to realise their dreams is what we in the Government are striving to achieve. We always bear in mind that when our young people thrive, Hong Kong will prosper. To this end, I can assure you that the Government will continue to allocate the resources to help young people grasp their opportunities, ranging from investing in education at all levels, supporting business start-ups, to providing athletic training and cultural performance opportunities. 
     Hong Kong, and the Greater Bay Area as well, are places full of opportunities. Hong Kong's business environment and competitiveness have been consistently recognised by international institutions.  Our role as a global city, an international financial and trade centre, and the business bridge between our country and the rest of the world, provides boundless room for young people to unleash their potential.  Yes, believe that you can thrive in Hong Kong, this great city of ours.
     Your college, I am pleased to note, has already given you a head start - a flying start – not only in your studies but in your larger education, instilling in you the school’s main values: respect, responsibility, perseverance and appreciation.  Do remember these values.  As you move on to further studies or other pursuits, you will interact and work with people of all types. You will face a host of challenges and difficulties.  I can tell that those who stand by these values will more likely win friends and gain trust from others. They will help you prevail in trying times, whether in business, in the public service or any other area of life. 

     Talking of "respect", I am also pleased to learn that students here are steeped in a culture of diversity and harmony, with about a quarter of the student population made up of non-Chinese-speaking students. 
     As you move on to the next stage of your lives, I am confident you have already learned the essential importance of preparing yourselves well. The world is changing fast, and no one can really be sure about the future, whether this time next year or the day after tomorrow. For example, social media tools and platforms that were once popular have been overtaken by others just in a few years' time. It is therefore all the more important to equip yourselves with the necessary knowledge and skills, keep an open mind, and broaden your horizons so that you can see and seize the opportunities as they arrive.  As these lyrics from your school song aptly note, "Each day we're building our tomorrow, the future’s in our hands."
     Yes, the future is in your young and capable hands. My congratulations, once again, to each and every one of you. I wish you all the best, whatever you decide to do in your further education and in your career choices. 
     Last but not least, I also wish to express appreciation to the college's management committee, principal, teachers and support staff, for your dedication and the inspiring results you have so ably, so conscientiously, worked to realise, year after year.  I have every confidence that you will continue to champion educational excellence on behalf of your students – and Hong Kong.  Thank you.

Ends/Saturday, July 9, 2022
Issued at HKT 17:43