Speech by SCED at Business of Design Week 2016 Gala Dinner (English only)
Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the Business of Design Week (BODW) 2016 Gala Dinner today (December 2):
Eric (Chairman of the Hong Kong Design Centre, Professor Eric Yim); Victor (Chairman of the Steering Committee of BODW, Mr Victor Lo); Mr Kelly (Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Mr Mark Kelly), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening. It is my great pleasure to join you tonight at the gala dinner of BODW 2016. My warmest welcome to you all, particularly to those who have travelled a long way to be here with us today.
This week has been a thrilling one for those who love design and cherish the value of the business of design. We started the design week with the opening of an exhibition showing 10 outstanding Asian fashion designers and their craftsmanship, followed by a two-day forum on the challenges of the fashion design world. From Wednesday to today, we have had numerous insightful talks given by brand experts, designers and business leaders, not to mention the fruitful exchanges between speakers and participants.
The gala dinner tonight marks the climax of the week-long BODW. We are really proud that BODW has grown to become the largest annual design event in Asia and one of the leading design events in the world. The most alluring feature of BODW, I feel, is its different partner each year. It is like getting to know a new friend. We all look forward to sharing new knowledge that comes from our diverse experiences, and the inspirational exchanges that would surely bring. It is the international mix of distinguished speakers and participants which has set BODW apart from others.
This year our partner is Chicago, the third most populous city of the United States. Emerging from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the city went through an explosive period of building and in 1885 unveiled the world's first steel-skeleton structure skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building. With this, the skyscraper era had dawned and it soon swept through the world.
This, you see, is the spirit of "Chicago Made" - bold, daring, original, practical and beautiful. Add a dash of tech-savvy for good measure. This is what we are here to hear about at this year's BODW, to learn how transformation can be brought about by the spirit of "Chicago Made", and how our own beautiful city can also kindle a similar spirit and be transformed, be "re-invented", in body and in soul.
We are also here tonight to celebrate design excellence. We will present the three most prestigious awards of the Design For Asian Awards (DFA) tonight, namely the DFA Lifetime Achievement Award, the DFA Design Leadership Award and the DFA World's Outstanding Chinese Designer. The DFA Awards are esteemed and recognised in Asia for honouring design excellence. The Award winners are exemplary models with outstanding achievements in the international design arena. They truly made a difference in the design community.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Hong Kong Design Centre on another successful BODW. Congratulations also go to the three outstanding award winners this year. My sincere gratitude as well to all judges, collaborating parties and sponsors of the event.
I wish you all a very enjoyable evening. Thank you.
Ends/Friday, December 2, 2016