The following is the speech by the Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting, Mr K C Kwong, at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Information Infrastructure Expo & Conference 1999 today (Thursday) :
Dr Fung, Vice Minister Zhou, Senator Alston, Deputy Minister Lynch, Mr Sze, ladies
I am honoured to have the opportunity to launch the Information Infrastructure Expo 1999 this morning with our distinguished guests from Hong Kong and overseas.
This is the second year the II Expo & Conference is held. Some thirty renowned experts in the IT and telecommunications field will be addressing the conference, and over 100 international and local organisations and companies will be showcasing their innovative products and services in the exposition. This wide support to the
event is most encouraging. Particularly worth noting this year is the participation of high-level delegations from the Mainland of China, Australia and Canada. They are led respectively by Vice Minister Zhou, Senator Alston, and Deputy Minister Lynch. These three distinguished guests have just shared their valuable experience with us in the conference this morning, and are now with us on the stage to officiate at the formal launching of the II Expo. On behalf of the community, I would like to take this opportunity to extend to them and their colleagues a warm welcome.
The holding of the Information Infrastructure Expo & Conference is fully consistent with Government's "Digital 21" Information Technology Strategy. The primary objective of the Strategy is to enhance and strengthen our information infrastructure and services so as to make Hong Kong a leading digital city in the globally connected world. And a key initiative under that strategy is to promote the development of electronic commerce in Hong Kong. We in the Government will take the lead in this by providing public services via the Internet and other means of electronic access. Tendering for this Electronic Service Delivery scheme has just commenced. We are aiming to have Phase I of the scheme, which covers services provided by ten departments and public agencies, to be up and running by the latter half of 2000.
We are showing how all this will work in the "Government Online" pavilion in the Expo. In addition, the pavilion will feature the current services of various Government departments and public agencies which are already available over the Internet. Also, there will be demonstrations of a new Internet-based service - the Interactive Government Services Directory - which will enable the community to access Government departments and public organisations in a more user-friendly and interactive manner. I urge you all to visit the pavilion.
Finally, I would like to thank the Trade Development Council for its efforts in organising this event, in support of Hong Kong's "Digital 21" Strategy. The II Expo and Conference is fast becoming the premier IT event in Hong Kong. It not only serves to raise the profile of Hong Kong as the information technology and telecommunications hub in the Asia Pacific region; but also provides a forum for us to gather together, exchange views and experience, and create new business opportunities. I am sure we will all benefit from the event.
End/Thursday, March 4, 1999