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Striving to promote economic development

The current-term Government places great emphasis on economic development because only when our economy keeps growing will the Government, employers and all sectors in Hong Kong have the capacity to tackle social problems.

As an open and externally oriented economy, Hong Kong must continuously expand its base both inside and outside our country in order to achieve sustainable development.

In early December, I took part in quite a number of trade and economic activities to promote Hong Kong's economic development. These included the Business of Design Week opening ceremony and the Business of Intellectual Property Asia Forum. Although design and intellectual property (IP) are not major industries yet, they have great potential and their development trends are very promising. These two major events in Asia attracted great international attention. The Business of Intellectual Property Asia Forum drew an attendance of over 1,700 people from 24 countries and regions. For the first time, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government was one of the organisers of the Forum, which highlighted our commitment to developing Hong Kong into an IP trading hub.

On the first day of the Forum, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council launched the brand-new Asia IP Exchange, which, as a start, has listed over 20,000 tradable IP listings from nearly 20 countries and regions. On this platform, users can explore more business opportunities in IP trading and establish connections with global sellers and buyers.

IP plays a critical role in promoting innovation and the development of a knowledge-based economy. In recent years, the application of IP has been growing exponentially all over the world, and the demand for IP is high in the region. IP trading has great development potential in the Mainland of China, which records the largest number of patent applications in the world. There is ample room for the development of IP trading in Hong Kong.

As part of our efforts to implement the "original grant" patent (OGP) system in Hong Kong, our Intellectual Property Department and the State Intellectual Property Office signed the Co-operation Arrangement in the Area of Patent on December 6 this year in Hong Kong, with the signing witnessed by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development. The Arrangement is a significant milestone in our efforts in implementing the OGP system in Hong Kong, which bears strategic significance in facilitating the development of Hong Kong into a regional innovation and technology hub, as well as a premier IP trading hub. It also testifies to Hong Kong's role as a super-connector between our country and the rest of the world.

In future, I will continue to work hard for economic development to provide the people of Hong Kong with better employment and career development opportunities.

December 16, 2013