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Technology to be Hong Kong's new growth engine: TDC Chairman

The Council is organising three expositions and a path-finding convention at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from today (November 28) to December 1. Picture shows HKTDC Chairman Peter Woo visited the World SME Expo.
A Rolls Royce is on display at the Innovation and Design Expo.

Hong Kong's trade promotion arm celebrates 40th anniversary by unveiling technology marketplace concept amid hosting of major innovation-focused trade shows

Hong Kong, November 29, 2006 - Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Chairman Peter Woo says that technology is the natural choice as the "third engine" to power the city's future economic growth, complementing the merchandise and service trades that have driven Hong Kong's development over the past four decades.

In naming technology as a "third engine", Mr Woo refers to an advanced economy generating higher value from technology, creativity and innovation. He said Hong Kong's unique location, technology infrastructure and trade-focused economy made it a natural technology marketplace, which is already reaping the benefits from technology trade flowing in and out of China through Hong Kong.

"The old belief that high-tech equates to a money-losing proposition is no longer true," said Mr Woo, just ahead of the World SME Expo and Innovation and Design Expo, which will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the HKTDC.

"Rarely, if ever, has there been such a case of a city being in the right place at the right time as Hong Kong is now, in view of China's rising trade in technology as mapped out in the mainland's 11th Five-Year Programme."

While China's high-tech production has tripled in five years to US$339 billion in 2004, the country continues to seek technology solutions from foreign companies, as stipulated in the most recent Five-Year Programme. China has set targets in developing its own proprietary technology, as well as importing designated technology from overseas.

In 2005, China imported US$5 billion worth of designated technology and in the first six months in 2006 alone, the amount rose to US$4.2 billion, a corresponding increase of almost 80 per cent.

Tech-based products - valued at some US$95 billion in 2005 - account for one third of Hong Kong exports (according to OECD classification). R&D and product development in Hong Kong has risen sharply, often in collaboration with Chinese or overseas partners. Hong Kong companies now own or manage more than 60,000 factories in China's tech-heavy Guangdong Province.

Location-wise, Hong Kong borders the Pearl River Delta, where approximately 30 per cent of China's high-tech development takes place. It is uniquely placed to oversee regional project management while initiating and coordinating cross-border R&D, technology transfers and manufacturing processes.

Regarding economy and infrastructure, Hong Kong offers a commercially-sophisticated technology platform. Its banking and financial services are among the most advanced in the world. The city is a major centre for project financing and fundraising, supported by a robust stock exchange and a US$30 billion-strong venture capital market, key for funding technology projects.

Mr Woo also saluted Hong Kong's entrepreneurial SMEs for their contribution.

"Hong Kong's greatest strength as a trader is its entrepreneurial spirit and creative output of some 100,000 SMEs, who create real value for their global partners -- and real jobs at home. They are Hong Kong's true champions in world markets; the individuals that drive Hong Kong's success.

"The Council had assisted and partnered our SMEs through three momentous transitions - from 'Made in Hong Kong', to 'Made by Hong Kong', to 'all aboard' the Hong Kong platform".

Over the last four decades, Hong Kong's trade has grown 255 times from 1966's HK$17.6 billion to HK$4,579 billion in 2005. The manufacturing and trade sectors now account for 45 per cent of the city's GDP and 40 per cent of employment (1.3 million jobs). Hong Kong is now the world's 11th largest trade entity.

Note - Tonight TDC will commemorate its 40th anniversary by opening a special exhibition entitled: "Supertrader Hong Kong - 40 years of Trade". The exhibition in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre salutes Hong Kong's success in trade over the last four decades.

Scheduled to attend the exhibition's cocktail reception are:

Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR Government Mr Donald Tsang; Financial Secretary Mr Henry Tang; Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology Mr Joseph Wong; Secretary for the Civil Service Miss Denise Yue; Director of the Chief Executive's Office Mr John Tsang; the Council's ex-chairs The Rt Hon Baroness Lydia Dunn, Dr Victor K Fung, and former TDC executive directors, Mr Jack So and Mr Michael Sze, as well as present Chairman Mr Peter Woo and HKTDC Executive Director Mr Fred Lam.


About TDC:

TDC creates opportunity for Hong Kong companies and delivers value by promoting trade in goods and services, connecting China and the world through Hong Kong's business platform. TDC connects business to opportunity by way of some of the world's largest trade fairs, and provides access to more than 100,000 suppliers from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China by way of tdctrade.com, an award-winning online sourcing platform.

TDC has more than 40 offices worldwide - 11 in mainland China - staffed with experienced professionals. Trade publications and sector-specific research reports are also available online or at the TDC Business InfoCentre, featuring a wealth of research and investment information.

For more information

For press enquiries, please contact the following members of the TDC Corporate Communication Department: Lawrence Yau: 2584 4510 (tel), lawrence.yau@tdc.org.hk or Beatrice Lam: 2584 4049 (tel), beatrice.hy.lam@tdc.org.hk


TDC Expo Information Sheet

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council is organising three exhibitions and a path-finding convention at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) from November 29 to December 1.

World SME Expo

Held throughout the HKCEC, World SME Expo is a one-stop shop of trade and business services to assist SMEs in supporting their day-to-day operations and exploring world markets. Nearly 100 seminars and forums on SME-related topics will be held during the Expo. More than 320 global exhibitors and approximately 30,000 visitors from various product and service sectors are expected to attend.

Innovation & Design Expo (IDE)

Being staged in HKCEC's Hall 2 and 5, the expo helps SMEs incorporate innovation and creativity into their business operations. The number of exhibitors at this year's show has doubled to 350 from the previous year. Technology and design firms from countries and regions including Europe, North America, Japan, South Korea and Australia will showcase the latest technology and design trends in their respective markets.

TDC and Hong Kong Design Centre are also jointly staging the "Business of Design Week" where world-class master designers will share their design insights.
http://innodesignexpo.tdctrade.com and http://bodw.com.hk

International Business Convention (November 29)

Renowned strategists and senior executives from multinationals are invited to share their insights on global competition strategies.

Speakers include: Dr. W. Chan Kim, author of Blue Ocean Strategy; Mr. Steven Davidson of IBM GBS, Asia Pacific; Mr. Robert Willett, CEO of leading US electronic products retail chain Best Buy International; Steve Gilman, CEO of leading UK home products chain B & Q Asia; Mr. Stuart Harbinson, Special Advisor, Office of the Director-General, WTO.

"Supertrader" exhibition

To be held at Level 1 of HKCEC Atrium, the exhibition is open to the public. Period objects, multi-media visuals and interactive activities will mark the milestones of Hong Kong's trade development from a basic manufacturing base in the 1960s, to its position as a world-leading trade centre today. Limited edition souvenirs designed by local talent will be distributed at the fairground.

Further details on the four events are available at http://www.tdctrade.com/40/


Fact Sheet

Contribution of manufacturing and trade to Hong Kong economy
Contribution of manufacturing and trade to Hong Kong economy, in terms of value-added (direct and indirect) HK$558 billion
Contribution to employment

Jobs created

Share of Hong Kong's total working population

Jobs to be created by 2008


1.35 million



Share of GDP


Trading enterprises established from 1989-2006

No. of enterprises involved in manufacturing, trade and supporting services



Impact of every 5% increase in exports of goods

  • Hong Kong's real GDP would be boosted by
  • Unemployment rate would be reduced by


2.4% points
0.6% on average

Source: "Development and Contribution of Hong Kong's Manufacturing and Trading Sector". November 2006, Research Department, Hong Kong Trade Development Council


1966-TDC participates in its first trade fair in Bangkok (picture shows TDC's 1st chairman Chau Sik Nin(left) at the fair ground

1967-TDC hires a special truck to take Hong Kong goods to East Africa, then a promising emerging market
1968- John Lennon lends a hand to TDC promotion during a London toy fair 1975-Promoting Hong Kong fashion in Paris
1980-TDC organises the first official Hong Kong delegation to visit China 1981- then TDC Chairman YK Kan meets Egypt President Saddat
1982-Hong Kong Electronics Fair at Miramar Hotel 1986-TDC opens its office in Beijing and Shanghai
1988- HKCEC was completed and began operations 1996-TDC expands its work in promoting Hong Kong's trade in services
1997-HKCEC Phase II was completed 2000- TDC launches tdctrade.com
2001-TDC promotes Hong Kong films at Cannes 2001-TDC rolls out promotion on China's WTO entry
2003-TDC supports SMEs during Sars 2005-TDC's CEC expansion plan approved by Town Planning Board
2006-TDC Chairman Peter Woo calls for a third growth engine


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Content provided by Hong Kong Trade Development Council