Following is the speech by the Acting Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting, Ms Eva Cheng, at the Opening Ceremony of the Hong Kong Information Infrastructure Expo & Conference 2000 today (March 16):
Dr Fung, Minister Lynch, Director-General Song , Mr Sze, ladies & gentlemen,
I am delighted to be here today to launch the third Information Infrastructure Expo & Conference, jointly organised by the Trade Development Council and the Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau.
The II Expo is one of the most important and popular events for our IT-related sectors. The statistics speak for themselves : we started off with 95 participating companies using 8,800 sq m of space and 78,000 visitors for the first II Expo. Now we have nearly 200 international and local organisations and companies showcasing their innovative products and services, occupying 40% more space and an estimated 100,000 visitors this year. As in last year, we are honoured to have senior-level delegations from the Mainland of China and Canada. They are led respectively by Ms Song Ling and Mr Kevin Lynch. Our two distinguished guests have just shared their valuable experience in the conference this morning, and we are very pleased that they are here to officiate at the formal launching of the II Expo 2000. I would like to take this opportunity to extend to them, and their colleagues, a very warm welcome.
The Information Infrastructure Expo & Conference has seen the development of Government's "Digital 21" Information Technology Strategy from conceptual stage to where we are now : seeing concrete results from the implementation of the Strategy. Let me do a little promotion here. If you visit the Government pavilion, you will be able to see the achievements we have made under the building blocks of our "Digital 21" Strategy, the building of a high capacity telecommunications network; the development of an open and common information infrastructure through which individuals, businesses and government can interact easily and securely; and cultivating an environment that stimulates creativity and welcomes advances in the use of information technology. I urge you all to visit the pavilion.
Finally, I would like to thank the Trade Development Council for organising this event, which has become the premier IT event in Hong Kong. It has helped raise the profile of Hong Kong as the information technology and telecommunications hub in the Asia Pacific region. It also provides a forum for us to gather together, exchange views and experience, and create new business opportunities. As the jargon goes, we all benefit from plenty of G2B, B2B and B2C contacts.
End/Thursday, March 16, 2000