Major Speeches, Presentations and Press Releases

Speech by SCED at Joint Opening Ceremony of HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, Hong Kong Baby Products Fair and Hong Kong International Licensing Show (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the Joint Opening Ceremony of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair 2017, the HKTDC Hong Kong Baby Products Fair 2017 and the HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show 2017 today (January 9):

Benjamin (Acting Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), Mr Benjamin Chau), Tommy (Chairman of the HKTDC Design, Marketing and Licensing Services Advisory Committee, Mr Tommy Li), Mr Li (Deputy Director General of the Department of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs of the Ministry of Culture, Mr Li Jiangang), distinguished guests, ladies and gentleman,

     Good morning. It is my great pleasure to join you all here today. My warmest welcome to everyone, especially to those who have travelled a long way to be here with us today.

     As the saying goes, "The best things in life come in threes." Film titles, slogans and a variety of other things have been structured in threes, to emphasise an idea. Examples include the Three Musketeers, the road crossing safety slogan "Stop, Look and Listen", and the familiar phrase heard in a court "tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth".

     Today, we celebrate three important events concurrently - the Toys & Games Fair, the Baby Products Fair and the International Licensing Show. Staging these three events together achieves amazing synergy. The fairs serve as a one-stop platform for exhibitors and buyers across the world to explore new sales and sourcing channels as well as a wide range of licensing opportunities.

     The fairs also provide a golden opportunity for our local toys industry to showcase their high-quality products and outstanding services in product design, production planning, marketing and management. For many years, the Hong Kong toy industry has been exporting our creativity across the globe, sharing our innovation as well as bringing happiness and fun to children here and everywhere. From January to October 2016, our total exports of toys, dolls and games amounted to HK$30.3 billion, achieving encouraging growth in exports in a number of markets, including Switzerland, the Philippines and Thailand.

     Aside from being the hub of toy production, Hong Kong is also set to become a market of huge potential for toys and baby products, particularly in the light of China's two-child policy and the growing purchasing power in emerging markets in Asia. The fairs opened today provide a valuable occasion for buyers and sellers across the world to exchange market insights and understand new trends, to expand business contacts and build partnership across sectors.

     This crossover partnership is particularly important. In recent years, there have been drastic changes in product trends. Disruptions in technology, business models and the nature of end markets have changed the world that we live in. To survive and thrive, companies may no longer just stay within their established lines of businesses; they must smash through the confinement of traditional walls and seek collaboration from multiple disciplines. For example, by acquiring the user rights of popular movies, icons and animation characters through licensing, and applying them in the designs of products, toys and baby products, manufacturers can promptly and effectively attract more customers and tap into new markets within a short period of time.

     To help our manufacturers remain competitive, the Government has been dedicating great efforts through our various funding schemes to support our industries in upgrading, promotion of brands and development of overseas markets. To promote crossover collaboration, we have also facilitated cross-industry business matching through meetings, seminars and proactive work with different stakeholders.

     Ladies and gentlemen, "The best things in life come in threes, like friends, dreams and memories." Under one roof, we have friends being reunited, products that make dreams come true and businesses packed with wonderful memories of our can-do spirit.

     On this note, may I wish the fairs a great success and our visitors an enjoyable and fruitful stay in Hong Kong. May I also take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and rewarding 2017. Thank you.

Ends/Monday, January 9, 2017
Issued at HKT 11:03