The Policy Address 2000

D. A Vibrant Third Sector

98. The progress of our community hinges largely on the long-term commitment of our citizens. I believe that in the years ahead, our citizens will play an increasingly active role in serving the community and in voluntary services. My observation is based on experience from other parts of the world which shows that people in developed economies are on the whole more ready to participate actively in various non-profit-making social services. Non-profit-making and voluntary services, which are outside the ambit of the market and the Government, are often known as the "third sector". In some places, this sector accounts for up to 7% of the economy and can often find solutions to social problems that appear intractable to both the market and the Government. In some developed countries, almost all the best universities, museums, think-tanks and hospitals are run by non-profit- making or voluntary organisations. In Hong Kong, voluntary organisations already provide a vast array of services, but still have great potential to improve in terms of both quality and quantity. I hope that apart from having a highly efficient and modernised market economy and a small and effective government, Hong Kong can also boast a dynamic and growing sector of voluntary services. We will continue to enhance our working partnership with these organisations. Together we will build a better future for Hong Kong.

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