Reforms key to future of garment industry, says Liberal candidate

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 April, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 April, 1998, 12:00am

One candidate for the Textile and Garment functional constituency seeks to make Hong Kong the Italy of the South China Sea.

Sophie Leung Lau Yau-fun, who is likely to be uncontested, dismissed claims the sun was setting on the SAR's garment industry.

'We have advantages to help us develop quality garment production,' the Liberal Party member said.

'People here have great senses of fashion and beauty, and a deep appreciation of quality.' Mrs Leung insisted there were no problems resulting from the shortage of land for garment manufacturers.

'Small is beautiful - we make our designs like handicrafts, but make large productions.' A garment maker since 1975, Mrs Leung has been successful in introducing her own brand names both in the United States and South America.

She said Hong Kong was at a crossroads. 'We are now in the dilemma of whether to drop the industry which has brought us huge income, or to reform.' Supported by the Textile Council of Hong Kong, which exerts significant influence over the 2,739-strong electorate, Mrs Leung is on a smooth path to the SAR's first legislative council.

'I would try to help youngsters develop a sense of competition and self-improvement,' she said.

'This is not only for our industry, but also for Hong Kong's future.'