Speech by CE at Celebration for 15th Anniversary of Construction Industry Council and Hong Kong Construction Exhibition Grand Opening Ceremony (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, at the Celebration for the 15th Anniversary of the Construction Industry Council and the Hong Kong Construction Exhibition Grand Opening Ceremony today (October 31):
Mr Thomas Ho (Chairman of Construction Industry Council), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good evening to you all. It gives me great pleasure to join you all to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Construction Industry Council (CIC). This evening, we will also open an exhibition that showcases the achievements of the engineering and construction professions in Hong Kong over the years.
     I would like to begin by wishing the CIC a very happy birthday, and congratulate you on your remarkable achievements over the past 15 years in serving and leading industry practitioners in the strategic development of the construction sector in Hong Kong.
     Construction is an integral part of community development. Your creativity shapes our impressive buildings, adding iconic landmarks to our city. A good and immediate example is the spectacular building of M+ we are in this evening, which houses Asia's first global museum of visual culture.
     Other recent infrastructural feats include the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Shatin to Central Link. These major projects demanded the highest level of skills, creativity and perseverance. We are indeed grateful to our world-class construction practitioners, whose innovative work had brought us a smart and liveable city with a sustainable environment.
     In particular, I would like to thank those who had worked days and nights earlier this year when we were hard hit by the fifth wave of the epidemic. With the support from our country, our practitioners applied ground-breaking construction technologies to build the much-needed Community Isolation and Treatment Facilities from scratch, within a matter of weeks. You have made contribution to the realisation of "China speed".
     This year is a milestone for Hong Kong, marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR. Coincided with the 15th anniversary of the CIC, this is a good time for us to envision the future of the construction sector, and of our city.
     The Northern Metropolis is set to become a mega growth engine for driving our social and economic advancement. The Government is determined to develop it, in full steam, into a vibrant metropolitan area built on greater innovation and technology co-operation, between Hong Kong and other cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
     As announced in my Policy Address less than two weeks ago, I will personally lead the Northern Metropolis Steering Committee to provide high-level policy steer and supervision. The Hong Kong SAR Government will also collaborate with the Guangdong Provincial Government to facilitate the development of the Northern Metropolis beyond constraints of geographical boundary, creating synergy with our neighbouring cities.
     Another strategic growth engine of Hong Kong is the Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands. It will be a major source of future land supply, supporting the establishment of our third CBD, and enhancing our connectivity. Coupled with the "double gateway" function of the Lantau Island, we are well-positioned to tap the economic opportunities from overseas and the Greater Bay Area. Together with the three major road schemes and three strategic railway projects announced in the Policy Address, these infrastructural investments will further drive and support our city's development.
     With these developmental plans in the pipeline, and the strong impetus for growth in the Mainland, Hong Kong is destined to rise further as a city of boundless opportunities. In the next few years, the Government's annual capital works expenditure is anticipated to exceed 100 billion dollars. Hong Kong's annual construction volume is expected to grow to 300 billion dollars in future.
     The Government will press on with formulating measures to uplift the productivity of the construction industry. We will drive the development of high productivity construction methods, such as Modular Integrated Construction, or MiC, across the industry. We will continue to lead the region in the adoption of MiC in the construction industry.
     My Policy Address focuses on attracting talents as well as nurturing local talents to ensure sufficient manpower supply to support our growth. The efforts of the CIC and industry partners in attracting new blood, enhancing training, and building career paths for construction practitioners have our full support.

     To ensure sufficient manpower to support another booming phase of construction, the CIC established the Hong Kong Institute of Construction in 2018 to take training to a new horizon. The Institute provides a progressive path for workers to upskill, young people to be groomed as technicians, and experts to continue professional development. To enhance the industry's technology capability, the CIC pioneered the promotion and training of various key technologies, from BIM (Building Information Modeling), MiC to robotic and automation.
     The 15-year journey of the CIC is testimony of the unity and commitment of the industry to strive for continuous development, and to serve the community of Hong Kong and the country. I have full confidence in the construction industry to rise up to the challenges and seize the opportunities ahead. I look forward to our continued partnership to support sustainable development and deliver the infrastructural blueprint we have outlined.
     With that, I wish you all the best of business and health in the years to come. Have an enjoyable evening. Thank you.

Ends/Monday, October 31, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:48