The following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Donald Tsang, at the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Reception today (October 30) (English only):
Mr President, Mr Secretary General, Members of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to Hong Kong. We are honoured to be hosting the ABU's 38th Annual General Assembly. This year, we have delegates from around the globe, covering the entire Asia-Pacific area and beyond. I hope you all enjoy your stay here.
The ABU encourages communication that cuts across race, religion, politics and national boundaries. The Union is involved in a wide range of activities, from news exchange to technical and training matters, as well as a representative voice in areas such as frequency management and standards setting. The work of the ABU is likely to become even more interesting and challenging as advances in multi-media technology blur the boundaries between broadcasting, telecommunications and publishing. I am sure that regulators around the world are trying to grapple with these same issues. As an association representing the broadcasting industry, the ABU obviously has an important role to play, and input to make, in these areas.
The hosting of this General Assembly provides Hong Kong with an opportunity to showcase our credentials - not just in areas of broadcasting and telecommunications, but also as a crossroads and a melting pot of ideas, information and innovation. As one of the most open and externally-oriented economies in the world, Hong Kong wholeheartedly supports and promotes the interaction, communication and mutual respect that the ABU also promotes through its work.
During your time in Hong Kong, I hope you will all be able to see that one of our greatest strengths is our free and open media. The dozens of newspapers - local and international - published daily and weekly, coupled with local and international broadcasters, provide people in Hong Kong with a diverse and comprehensive range of news, views, information and entertainment. We regard the free flow of news and information as one of the main pillars of success. As far as we are concerned, there is no room for compromise on this point. We believe the combination of the rule of law, a level playing field for business, a clean administration and freedom of information has helped stamp Hong Kong as Asia's world city.
We try very hard to make our guests welcome. We stand ready to help the ABU in any way we can to make your General Assembly a great success, and a memorable experience for all of you.
Once again, welcome to Hong Kong.
End/Tuesday, October 30, 2001