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Speech by FS at Yidan Prize launch ceremony

Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, at the launch ceremony of the Yidan Prize held this evening (May 22):

Mr Chen (Founder of the Yidan Prize, Mr Charles Chen), your excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening.

I am delighted to join you all for the launch of the Yidan Prize Foundation on this lovely Sunday evening.

I remember Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize winner, saying, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

Indeed, education is certainly the most powerful equaliser that drives our society forward, sustaining the growth of each and every modern economy. Education is more than just a critical investment in human capital, it is also the most rewarding investment in humanity. Collectively, as well as individually.

So I am glad to learn that the Yidan Prize Foundation will be presenting annual awards starting from 2017 to recognise the achievements as well as to support the work of commendable educators from around the world.

In Hong Kong, education has always been the top policy priority of the Government. In the current fiscal year, I have allocated some $75 billion for education spending, more than one-fifth of our total recurrent expenditure. Over the past decade, government spending on education has increased by 70 per cent.

Through the provision of quality and comprehensive education to our younger generations, we are indeed nurturing talents that would help create exciting opportunities and boundless possibilities for the future of our city. For the people of Hong Kong.

Ladies and gentlemen, today marks a milestone for the Yidan Prize Foundation, as well as international education research and development. And I am pleased to add that the Foundation's heart and soul lies right here in Hong Kong, a truly globalised metropolitan city at the heart of Asia and a place that we call home.

For that, we are grateful. I am grateful. And I look forward to congratulating the inaugural Yidan Prize award winners in December next year.

Thank you very much and have a delightful evening.

22.05.2016


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