Mr. Liu, Dr Muzyka, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am truly delighted today to witness the signing ceremony of theShenzhen - Hong Kong - DuPont Solar Energy Photovoltaic Technology DevelopmentProject. In recent years, rapid economic growth in this region has exertedenormous pressure on energy supply and on our environment. From a global perspective,energy resources generated from fossil fuels are facing at this time a host offormidable challenges, particularly rising prices and environmental concerns. Renewableenergy, such as solar energy, is becoming increasingly important as analternative power source to meet the global energy demand.
Pressing energy needs and environmental concerns are indeed some ofthe many challenges shared by Hong Kong and Shenzhen. But with challenges comeopportunities. The transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to one based onrenewable energy can spur economic growth and create jobs.
The solar energy industry is expected to develop rapidly into amulti-billion dollar industry, providing us with many new job opportunities. Iam pleased that the Governments of Shenzhen and Hong Kong are joining hands inestablishing a Solar Energy Research and Industrial Platform in partnershipwith DuPont. Together we will develop solar energy technologies and engage the potentialof the solar energy industry.
The two letters of intent that will be signed later on today markthe launch of the Solar Energy Research and Industrial Platform. Under thisarrangement, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation will takethe lead in establishing a Solar Energy R&D Support Centre at the SciencePark in Tai Po in the development of solar energy and related technologies inHong Kong and the Pearl River Delta; DuPont will join the centre as the firstanchor tenant by locating its Global Photovoltaic R&D Centre in the SciencePark. At the same time, the Shenzhen Municipal Government, in collaborationwith the Hong Kong Government, will provide land and other facilities tosupport downstream solar product development and manufacturing activities. Wewill work together jointly in promoting the use of these products.
With this initiative, we reaffirm the Hong Kong Government’scommitment to protect the environment and to promote technology development.Solar energy is a clean and sustainable energy resource. The development ofsolar energy will help reduce the use of fossil fuels in generating electricity.This will in turn help to mitigate the problem of air pollution and the effectsof global warming.
With this initiative, we are also establishing a new model ofco-operation in our region that will no doubt be replicated in the futuremaximising the comparative advantages of all the parties concerned.
Innovation and technology are key to enhancing the overallproductivity and competitiveness of our economy. This new centre will be at theforefront of developing more efficient means and devising new products ingenerating electricity from solar energy. There will be plenty of opportunitiesfor collaboration with researchers in our universities. There will also beplenty of new opportunities for manufacturers here and throughout the PearlRiver Delta to play a key role in each one of the different segments of thesupply chain in producing relevant components and products for use in theoverall process. We have an opportunity here to play a leading role in thisindustry.
The Solar Energy Research and Industrial Platform is a majorco-operation initiative between Hong Kong and Shenzhen to improve theenvironment and to promote the development of renewable energy. It also marks asignificant milestone for the “Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation Circle”. Thebenefits of our joint efforts will be extended to other parts of the Mainlandand Asia.
I am very pleased that DuPont has chosen to locate its GlobalPhotovoltaic R&D Centre in Hong Kong. The decision reinforces our positionas a prime location for innovation and technology-based companies in theregion. And I look forward to even more companies making use of this novelmodel of operation in creating new technologies for mass application in theregion.
Ladies and gentlemen, I congratulate DuPont on the momentousdecision to make a significant expansion of its operation in Hong Kong and thePearl River Delta region. I am confident that this unique strategic partnershipamong Hong Kong, Shenzhen and DuPont will flourish as we work towards abrighter future.