Speech by DGTI at Hong Kong International Toys Festival 2010 Joint Networking Reception (English only)
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Following is the opening speech by the Director-General of Trade and Industry, Ms Maria Kwan, at the Hong Kong International Toys Festival 2010 Joint Networking Reception today (January 12):
Mr Wong, Bernie, David, Benjamin, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening. It is my pleasure to join you at this reception which marks the opening of the third Hong Kong International Toys Festival. Let me start by wishing you all a Happy New Year.
To all the guests from overseas, may I also wish you a very fruitful and enjoyable stay in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is proud of its reputation as the "World's Toy Centre". Including re-exports, Hong Kong is now the world's second largest toy exporter. More importantly, our toy makers are firmly committed to the highest levels of product quality and safety. Their toy products are renowned also for creativity and affordability.
Over the years, the majority of Hong Kong toy makers have set up production facilities offshore, mainly in Mainland China. Their Hong Kong office continues with quality control, marketing, finance and accounting, and product design. Notably, toy makers in Hong Kong have remained at the steering wheel, carefully charting the course on how to meet changing challenges, and to make the most of the opportunities that may come their way.
In the past few years, the toy industry has faced unprecedented challenges. Safety standards and regulations in the major export markets were tightened, and the global financial crisis broke out in late 2008. Fortunately, good sailors prove their worth in strong winds. I am pleased to note that the Hong Kong toy industry has started to ride out the storm.
Looking ahead, there are ample opportunities for our industrialists and entrepreneurs, particularly in Mainland China. About a year ago, the Central People's Government unveiled its plan to establish the Pearl River Delta as one of the most competitive regions in the world by 2020. This framework supports greater co-operation among Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong to maximise their combined strengths and complement each other in developing a premier business hub.
To grasp these opportunities, industry players need to innovate and upgrade continuously. The Hong Kong Government is sparing no effort in creating an environment that is conducive to business development. For example, the Trade and Industry Department has in place various funding schemes to facilitate companies, particularly SMEs, in obtaining commercial loans, expanding business through export promotion activities, and enhancing their overall competitiveness. The Government has also launched other support measures to promote design and creativity in Hong Kong industries, including the toy industry.
The Hong Kong International Toys Festival is held in conjunction with the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair. I would like to commend the excellent efforts of the Hong Kong Toys Council, the Toys Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in bringing these important events to fruition. I wish the events every success. Thank you.