LCQ1: Development of cultural and creative industries
Following is a question by the Hon Ma Fung-kwok and a reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the Legislative Council meeting today (March 26):
The economic contribution of the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) in terms of percentage share in gross domestic product increased from 3.8% in 2005 to 4.9% in 2012, and the employment in such industries as a percentage in the total employment during the same period increased from 5.1% to 5.5%. Some members of the industries have pointed out that although CCIs are emerging pillar industries of Hong Kong, the room for survival of such industries has been severely compressed and their development has been seriously constrained due to tight supply of land. In reply to my question in October last year, the Chief Executive indicated that the development of creative industries at the Lok Ma Chau Loop (the Loop) would be considered. Regarding the provision of land for the development of CCIs, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the current progress of the planning work for the Loop; how CCIs are expected to benefit from the development of such area; whether the authorities have conducted any assessment on the land required for the development of such industries; if so, how such demand for land will be met; if not, of the reasons for that;
(2) whether it has considered strengthening cooperation with the mainland departments and, on the premise of comprehensive infrastructure, renting sites on the Mainland for establishing parks for emerging industries which will mainly be managed by the Hong Kong side, so as to take forward the development of CCIs of Hong Kong; and
(3) whether the Consultative Committee on Economic and Trade Co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland has, since its establishment in October last year, discussed how to foster the development of CCIs; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; given that some members of the industries have proposed the construction of a film and television city in Nansha, whether the Committee has discussed this proposal; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
My reply to the questions raised by Hon Ma Fung-kwok is as follows:
(1) and (2) The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) is responsible for promoting the development of creative industries. Creative industries cover advertising, architecture, design, digital entertainment, film, music, publishing and printing, television, etc. The Home Affairs Bureau (HAB) supports the development of the art and culture in Hong Kong, covering performing arts, visual arts, literary arts and intangible cultural heritage.
Creative industries under the purview of CEDB cover different sectors. The business nature and scale varies from one creative sector to another. Creative establishments are mostly small and medium enterprises or operated on a self-employed basis. With the exception of a small number of enterprises such as television stations, film studios, etc. which require larger parcels of land, creative establishments are mainly scattered in commercial and industrial buildings in different districts. Hence, the demand of creative industries for office facilities and business premises has largely been reflected in Hong Kong's overall demand for commercial and industrial buildings. CEDB has not conducted any specific assessment on the land required by creative industries.
To develop creative clusters, the Government and relevant organisations offer support to selected creative sectors by provision of office facilities and support services. Cyberport and InnoCentre lease working space to digital entertainment and design companies respectively. Incubation programmes for start-ups are also available in both creative clusters. In addition, the former Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road (PMQ) revitalised with the Government's funding support will commence operation in the first half of this year, providing studios to some 100 establishments and persons engaged in creative industries.
As regards the development of the arts and culture, HAB promotes the development of cultural software through supporting the development of quality arts programmes, audience building, arts education, the grooming of arts talents and cultural exchange. HAB provides funding support to small, medium and major art groups and individual artists through direct subvention and grants provided through the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and under the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department engages arts groups and artists in the programmes and exhibitions presented by the Department; and operates cultural facilities including performing venues, museums, centres of visual arts and public libraries, etc. HAB also provides funding support to projects of providing arts space for arts groups and artists such as those implemented by the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.
The Government takes into account the needs of creative industries when planning for the land uses of new development areas. The Lok Ma Chau (LMC) Loop mentioned by Hon Ma Fung-kwok is a case in point. The final proposals of the Planning and Engineering Study on Development of LMC Loop (the Study) were promulgated in July 2013. According to the Recommended Outline Development Plan (RODP) of the Study, the LMC Loop will be developed with higher education as the leading land use, complemented by high-tech research and development (R&D) and cultural and creative (C&C) industries. The recommended land uses for the LMC Loop have taken into consideration the advantage of its strategic location at the boundary district of Hong Kong and Shenzhen in attracting talents in knowledge, technology and creative industries; and through development of the LMC Loop, to facilitate knowledge and technology exchange between the two cities. Under the RODP, about 8.6 ha of land, providing a maximum gross floor area of 411 000 square metres, is earmarked for high-tech R&D and C&C uses, in which interchangeability amongst the two uses is allowed in order to provide a flexible land use framework to meet future market demand. The works ahead would include preparation of the statutory outline zoning plan and detailed engineering design of the advance works. We shall endeavour to commence as early as possible part of the advance works to facilitate site formation and building construction so that part of the facilities in the LMC Loop can be put into early operation.
Moreover, Kowloon East is being transformed into another core business district to support Hong Kong's long-term economic development. The Development Bureau will capitalise on the transformation of Kowloon East and identify sites to support the development of arts, culture and creative industries. For example, the Development Bureau will convert the sites underneath the Kwun Tong Bypass for arts and cultural events and use by creative industries.
Hong Kong has a highly open market, quality business support services, well-established intellectual property regime, the rule of law and free flow of information, providing an ideal business platform for creative establishments. The Government is committed to fostering a favourable environment in Hong Kong for developing creative industries, and has no plan to establish parks on the Mainland for Hong Kong's creative industries.
(3) The responsibility of the Consultative Committee on Economic and Trade Co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland (the Committee) is to advise the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government on matters related to strengthening co-operation with the Mainland in trade, economic and other relevant areas. Topics to be discussed are determined by the Committee. Since its establishment, the Committee has not discussed how to promote the development of cultural and creative industries in Hong Kong or the construction of a film and television city in Nansha.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014