Following is a speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, at the GS1 Hong Kong Supply Chain Management Excellence Summit 2009 today (November 10) (English only):
Mr (Joseph) Phi, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning. It is my honour to be here with you at the 9th GS1 Hong Kong Supply Chain Management Excellence Summit 2009. To our guests from overseas and the Mainland, I would also like to extend my warmest welcome and hope that you will have a most pleasant and fruitful stay in Hong Kong.
This year GS1 Hong Kong celebrates its 20th anniversary. It gives me great pleasure to congratulate the organisation on its achievements over the years. GS1 has been a leading advocate for technological innovation, and has played a key role in pushing the development and usage of innovative solutions in supply chain management, including barcodes and RFID. Working in close collaboration with various governments, as well as its domestic and global partners, GS1 has actively contributed to the formulation of technology and business standards that have been adopted across a wide range of industry sectors.
Hong Kong is one of the worlds leading trade and logistics hubs. One of our key success factors is our industries vigorous pursuit of technology to enhance business efficiency and customer value along the global supply chains. The Government has built the necessary infrastructure and provided research funds to facilitate the development. In the area of supply chain management, the Government has established the Hong Kong Logistics and Supply Chain Management Enabling Technologies R&D Center (LSCM) and has also supported industry-led organisations like GS1. These organisations help industry to improve operational efficiency, particularly through the use of RFID technology. During the period from 2004 to 2008, the Government has supported more than 20 RFID projects, involving a total funding of over 150 million Hong Kong dollars.
On top of our continuous support for research and development (R&D) projects, the Government has been driving wider application and more extensive utilisation of R&D results through commercialisation. For example, ezTRACK (easy-track) emerged from the EPC Network Infrastructure for End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility project. This now provides more than 80 subscribers with real-time visibility of goods from the point of origin all the way through to the point of sale. Another such project, the Product Authentication Solution enables consumers to authenticate products after purchase. The Government will continue its effort to support commercialisation of R&D projects in the field of supply chain management.
With Hong Kongs geographic location and historical ties, we are uniquely placed to facilitate trade between the Mainland and its many partners. I understand that GS1 and LSCM have joined the RFID standards research projects led by the Guangdong Radio-wave Monitoring Station. This will allow Hong Kong to play an active role in the development of RFID standards in one of the worlds largest market places. I am also delighted to learn that GS1 has jointly initiated a Pan-Asia RFID regional cooperation with RFID organisations in Malaysia and Guangdong. This kind of cooperation is important as it will help create more business opportunities in Hong Kong, the Mainland and regionally.
Innovative thinking and creativity, together with the ability to adopt technology for fruitful use, are skills that we must cultivate in our younger generation. I am delighted to see that participation in The Hong Kong RFID Awards this year has been extended to young talent in local universities and education institutes. Such encouragement for our next generation of creative talent is essential to ensure we can continue the advancement of our supply chain management.
While the world is slowly starting to emerge from the worst effects of the economic turmoil, the need to make the best use of technology to maintain competitiveness is more important than ever. This conference provides a great opportunity for the industry to look ahead, to exchange knowledge and ideas so that you are ready to seize the opportunities ahead. I hope you all have a fruitful day of discussion as well as an enjoyable experience in Hong Kong.
Thank you very much.