I am honoured to be appointed as Chairman in 2019 and to share with you the Annual Report of the Authority. Over the years, the Authority has been providing quality professional training for the local clothing industry in the pursuit of excellence while unleashing the potential of talents. Being the vanguard of the training institution in the industry, we will endeavour to explore the trends and developments and to provide the best support to practitioners of the industry.

In the past year, we were dedicated to fortify partnership relation and nurture a pool of professionals for the industry. Following the established strategic plans, the Authority will continue to focus on developing activities that add value to stakeholders. They includes a broad spectrum of professional training courses, corporate training and various sorts of support to the industry.

In the advent of the new era of “Industry 4.0” and the popularity of application of artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing, the clothing supply chains follow the same upwards trajectory in developing a new portfolio of the digital and smart mode of operations. In its wake, the enterprises of the fashion design and manufacturing adopt the application for the intelligent system, automation as well as new technology to speed up the transformation of production mode to boost competitiveness.

In the backdrop of digitalisation, apart from upgrading the existing teaching facilities, the Authority also introduces new courses from time to time. In September this year, we welcomed the first group of students of “Higher Diploma in Digital Fashion Creation”. Other than the Higher Diploma, we has also provided a new series of part-time courses, seminars and workshops related to the application of digitalisation.

On top of the training courses provided, the Authority plays a pivotal role in supporting human resources development for the industry. Qualification Framework Secretariat reappointed the Authority as a professional writer to undertake the compilation of Specification of Competency Standards for four functional areas, namely Material development, Production planning and control, Technical support and Laundry service. The Authority also missioned to increase recognition of skills and qualifications of the practitioners in the industry through the qualification framework platform. In the meantime, the Authority works closely with the industry for enhancing training curriculum to help practitioners to strengthen their technical skills.

To help the industry to boost its competitiveness, the Authority carries out a series of research and development of applied technologies with the funding from the Innovation and Technology Fund alongside the support from the industry. Among them was Activity-based Carbon Footprint Modelling (ACFM) which gained wide recognition from the industry. Altogether over 50 enterprises has been provided with the training of ACFM, which was put in place in calculating the resources consumed in the clothing production processes. The result was significant to formulate carbon reduction strategy conducive to the development of a low-carbon production environment.

“Re-industrialisation” is one of the key business promotion activities of the local government recently to bring local economic advancement to a new height. In this regard, the Authority was tasked to compile a special report which outlined a road map for re-industrialisation for local small-to-medium textiles and clothing enterprises. We had conducted an in-depth study of the development of textile materials, the trend of application of new technology and the current status of the local textile and clothing industries. The report recommended a three-pronged strategy for reindustrialisation, namely Digitalised manufacturing and business models, Circular economy and resource efficiency, and High value-added solutions. Rounds of seminars were organised by the Authority so that the industry better understood the three-pronged strategy and thus formulated their plans of re-industrialisation.

In response to rising concern to the issue of sustainability in the society, the Authority pays much efforts to implement environmental-friendly-related projects so that the clothing industry has a good grasp of this prevalent issue. For instance, the Authority organised an annual event – “Fashion Summit (Hong Kong)”, which is a major event in the Asia fashion industry in promoting sustainable concept. The 2-day summit featured more than 50 speakers from all over the world. Through 6 keynote speeches and 10 panel discussions, the speakers exchanged opinions and experiences on the latest trends, innovative technologies, solutions and opportunities of sustainable fashion.

I want to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to the former Chairman, Mr. Yeung Chun-fan. Mr. Yeung contributed to render the Authority a well-established training institute of high reputation on providing professional and quality training to the youth and practitioners for the industry. My thanks also go to every current and former Member of the Authority, all staff members, stakeholders and working partners particularly on their unfailing support and commitment to work rendering our mission of nurturing talents for the industry a great success.