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Budget Speech


Nurturing Emerging Industries

63.    Apart from building on our traditional strengths, we also give strong support for the development of emerging industries to further diversify our economy, so that Hong Kong can better respond to the world's ever-changing economic environment.  Over the past couple of years, the Government has promoted six industries where Hong Kong enjoys clear advantages.  These industries employ 420 000 people, or 12 per cent of the total workforce, and contribute to 8.5 per cent of GDP.  The Government will keep an eye on the development of new industries and proactively provide appropriate support for emerging industries with the potential to flourish.

64.    On nurturing emerging industries, the efforts of the Government and the industries concerned have borne fruit.  Among the emerging industries, the cultural and creative industries, employing 190 000 persons, have been taking up an increasing share of GDP, which now approaches five per cent.  To the credit of these practitioners, they have won numerous international awards and accolades.  Apart from the film industry, other industries in the sector also made impressive achievements.  Despite the global economic slowdown over the past few years, our design and architecture sectors have, during the five years leading up to 2011, achieved an average annual growth rate of 20 per cent in terms of value added and five per cent in terms of the number of practitioners.  Another notable achievement is that local advertising companies scooped a total of 60 awards in three different international advertising competitions.  In 2011, local enterprises spent more than $35 billion on advertising, an increase of 16 per cent over the previous year.  The local advertising industry continues to boom, employing 18 000 people and bringing $6.8 billion worth of economic benefits.  With the huge domestic demand in the Mainland as a result of sustained economic growth, our cultural and creative industries have great development potential.  We shall continue to provide strong support for the industries with a view to opening up more business opportunities and markets.

65.    In recent years, Hong Kong has played host to a number of art fairs which have attracted many well-established art galleries from different corners of the world.  We shall host a number of world-class art fairs again this year, including Art Basel - Hong Kong, inaugural show in Asia.  These major events will help pool overseas and local art-related participants and foster interaction and exchanges among them.  Successful art fairs will also facilitate art and cultural development in Hong Kong, and highlight our potential as an international art metropolis.

66.    To foster the development of visual arts and nurture local talent in the field, we are converting the club house of the former Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Oil Street, North Point into a visual arts exhibition and activity centre.  I also propose additional funding of $50 million for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to acquire local visual artists' outstanding artworks, and to commission works for exhibition under public art schemes.  These are set to promote the profile of local artists and bring their works to the attention of the art market.

67.    Today, many internationally renowned scholars work in local universities to conduct research.  Their efforts contribute to the development of Hong Kong's research and development (R&D) capabilities.  Top researchers working in our universities and enterprises have won numerous awards.  Last year, 56 Hong Kong scientists were approved by the State Ministry of Science and Technology for inclusion in the National Science and Technology Programmes Expert Database.  They are now qualified to participate in the compilation of the application guide and in project assessment for national science and technology programmes.  Internationally, the "Interactive Intention-Driven Upper-Limb Training Robotic System", a project under the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF), was awarded the "Grand Prix Du Salon International Des Inventions De Genève" in the 40th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in 2012, making it the first invention from Hong Kong to receive the grand prize.

68.    In my view, if we can transform technology research outcomes into products with market potential, coupled with industrial production, our technological development can make an even greater contribution to Hong Kong's economy.  To facilitate technology transfers and the realisation of R&D results, six local universities have set up their own technology transfer offices to deal with the complicated process of commercialising R&D results.  I propose that these six universities be each provided with a subvention of up to $12 million through the ITF for a period of three years from 2013-14 onwards to support the work of their technology transfer offices.

69.    Technology and product R&D will stimulate the development of intellectual property trading.  Hong Kong has a sound regime for the protection of intellectual property rights, and is well-equipped to develop into a regional intellectual property trading hub.  The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development will lead a working group to study the overall strategy for promoting Hong Kong as a hub for intellectual property trading.



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