WITH Hong Kong and China forging economic links and growing closer, the territory is playing a pivotal role as an international financial, industrial and commercial centre. Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong chairman Herbert Liang said this at the 31st CMA and Donors Scholarship presentation ceremony. To meet society's needs and pave the way for future development, Hong Kong should improve its educational standard and focus on manpower training, Mr Liang said. The demand for talented and trained personnel in the industrial, commercial and technological sectors was expected to increase in the future, he added. Mr Liang pointed out that education had a long way to go. Apart from the hard work required of both teachers and students, there was also the need for closer co-operation between school and family. Mr Liang said Hong Kong could produce an elite generation of leaders if it provided a positive family education, helped teenagers to gain a balanced outlook on life, and taught them to feel a sense of responsibility towards the community. Also addressing the audience was Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower Lam Woon-kwong. He said employment statistics showed that 57 per cent of the working population was engaged in the manufacturing industry. This indicated that the industry was still the mainstay of the Hong Kong economy. Mr Lam said the Hong Kong Government had always supported the manufacturing sector, and had helped it to increase its productivity by 60 per cent from 1986 to 1991. The increase showed that the sector was using more efficient technology. He said Hong Kong's prosperity could be attributed to industrious manufacturers and diligent workers. Mr Chan said that to help those who lose their jobs as a result of changes in local industry, the Employees' Re-training Board would continue to run training courses that would teach them new skills or enhance their present skills to widen their employment opportunities. The CMA scholarship aims to encourage outstanding students at technical schools, prevocational schools and tertiary institutions. With the generous support of CMA members, the scheme was able to offer scholarships worth over HK$390,000 to 202 students at 28 educational institutions this year.