Following is a speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, at the IEC Signing Ceremony Press Conference at the Conference Hall of the Central Government Offices New Annex today (August 23)(English only):
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to be present at the signing ceremony for the new International Exhibition Centre to be built at the Hong Kong International Airport.
The International Exhibition Centre is a milestone of the continuous growth of the exhibition industry in Hong Kong. And the new exhibition centre will complement our existing world-class facilities at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai. The two exhibition centres together will ensure that Hong Kong has enough good quality facilities to stage a wide range of exhibitions and is unrivalled in its ability to capture the growing exhibition market in the region.
The Government will be investing HK$2 billion in the project, which is expected to generate economic benefits of more than HK$10 billion over a 25-year period. The project will also create a few thousand jobs during the construction period and more than 900 new jobs when it is completed.
The new exhibition centre will be a joint venture between the Government, Airport Authority and a private sector consortium led by Dragages. The Government and the private sector participants will pay for the construction costs, while the Airport Authority will contribute the land for the new exhibition centre. This is another example of our commitment to make the best use of the market whenever we can.
I am looking forward to a successful partnership in this public-private sector joint venture. And I am confident that it will take our convention and exhibition business to a new level and consolidate Hong Kong's position as the convention and exhibition hub in the Asia-Pacific region.
Thank you very much.
End/Saturday, August 23, 2003