Speech by FS at Project Delivery Capability Programme Convocation Ceremony and Welcome Session (English only) (with photos)

     Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, at the Project Delivery Capability Programme  Convocation Ceremony and Welcome Session today (March 6):

Bernadette (Secretary for Development, Ms Bernadette Linn), Ricky (Permanent Secretary for Development (Works), Mr Ricky Lau), Professor Albert Chan (Dean of Students and Chair Professor, Department of Building and Real Estate, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)), Professor Geoffrey Shen (Associate Vice President (Global Partnerships) and Director of Global Engagement, PolyU), distinguished guests, colleagues, graduates and future graduates, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good afternoon. It is a great pleasure to join you today. 

     We're here to honour the graduates of the inaugural Project Delivery Capability Programme. Yet another splendid enterprise from the Centre of Excellence for Major Project Leaders. 

     Nearly 100 in all, you came through with flying colours in the year-long Programme designed to boost your managerial skills and ensure that our infrastructure projects are completed with high quality, on time, and on budget, and that they add value to our economy and our community. 

     As we move, decisively, to high quality development and to enhancing Hong Kong's quality of life, the need for innovative, mid-tier managers has never been as greater. 

     A number of far-reaching landmark developments, including the Northern Metropolis and the Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands, are in the pipeline and will help us create a more liveable, sustainable and economically vibrant Hong Kong. Think of the Northern Metropolis for example. More than 900 000 residential units will be provided for 2.5 million people, and more than 650 000 jobs to be created.     

     Such bold initiatives represent an unprecedented investment in Hong Kong's future, involving huge infrastructure and urban development works. All the more so, as engines powering Hong Kong's economic growth. Indeed, in the medium to long term, our construction volume is expected to reach about HK$300 billion a year, about one-third of which is from public works. 

     We have all the reasons to ensure they are smartly, effectively and efficiently realised.

     That's what the Project Delivery Capability Programme is all about. Your newly acquired skills and managerial expertise are needed today, and they will be essential tomorrow, particularly in infrastructure development. 

     And you, the Programme's first graduates - architects, engineers, surveyors and other industry specialists - will be the nucleus of the public project delivery team, the critical bridge between frontline workers and project leaders. 

     I have no doubt that you welcome the challenge. And I have every confidence that you will run with it. 

     Innovation and technology will be the key to our construction sector's future and its drive towards more sustainable and high quality development. Ranging from BIM (Building Information Modelling) to MiC (Modular Integrated Construction), from robotics to new construction materials, the Government takes the lead in pioneering new technologies in public works projects.  

     In my 2023-24 Budget, I announced two initiatives that will strengthen our construction industry.

     One is to study the establishment of a Building Testing and Research Institute. Its purpose would be to spearhead innovation in the industry, to attract R&D (research and development) professionals to Hong Kong and to help align our country's construction standards and related products with those in the international arena.

     Another is to study the first Advanced Construction Industry Building and its mode of operation. The project's goal is to enhance construction productivity and expedite the works process. 

     While today we congratulate the graduates, let us also extend a warm welcome to those who are joining the 2023 Project Delivery Capability Programme. Among you, not only about 100 government managers, but some 20 professionals from the Airport Authority, Science Park, the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park, the Hospital Authority, Housing Authority, Housing Society, the MTR Corporation and more.

     It will surely be a major milestone in your professional careers and, ultimately, a much welcome development for Hong Kong and our built environment. 

     My thanks to the Development Bureau for your central role in bringing this Programme to smart and sustaining life. I'm grateful, too, to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the main educational provider, for running the Programme's seminars, workshops and structured training.

     I wish you all good health and great success in your professional career.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Monday, March 6, 2023
Issued at HKT 16:49