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Speech by FS at toys and gifts show (English only) (with

    Following is the speech (English only) by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, at the grand opening ceremony of the 14th Hong Kong International Toys & Gifts Show and the 13th Asian Gifts Premium & Household Products Show at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this morning (October 20):

Herbert, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     It is my great pleasure to join you today at the opening ceremony of the 14th Hong Kong International Toys & Gifts Show and the 13th Asian Gifts Premium & Household Products Show.  

     This exhibition is one of the biggest in the trade with over 5,300 booths, attracting more than 3,000 exhibitors and 60,000 buyers from 28 countries and regions. It is befitting for Hong Kong to host such a mega event as a considerable portion of toys in the world are in fact exported through Hong Kong's ports and we are also an important sourcing hub for giftware and household products in the region and indeed in the world.  

     I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all of you, and in particular, to those of you who come from far away places. With your continuous support and the concerted efforts of the trade, Hong Kong is strengthening its role as a leading convention and exhibition hub in the region. Last year, Hong Kong hosted more than 300 international conventions and exhibitions, and attracted some 500,000 overseas visitors to these events.  

     Our strategic geographical location and unique position as a gateway to the Mainland have given our convention and exhibition trade a distinct advantage in the region. Hosting international events in Hong Kong will offer you unparalleled access to the international business communities and help you attract the right mix of participants and achieve better results.  

     Hong Kong is also renowned for our world-class infrastructure and facilities, and our deep pool of talent provides efficient and professional services of the highest standard. To maintain our edge in international convention and exhibition business, the Government will ensure that our convention and exhibition facilities are of world-class standard and will anticipate the industry's needs. Today, I am pleased to let you know that phase I of Asia World-Expo, a new international exhibition centre near Chek Lap Kok airport, will soon be complete and is scheduled to open this December. This will enable Hong Kong to host a greater number and a wider range of international events, and to maintain our leading position as an international hub for conventions and exhibitions. I would like to congratulate Herbert [on the fact] that you'll be the first one to organise an event in this mega venue.

     I wish you all every success in this mega show and a very pleasant and enjoyable stay in Hong Kong for our visitors from overseas and from the Mainland. Do take some time out of your busy schedule to enjoy the famous shopping and dining experiences in our vibrant city. Thank you very much.

Ends/Thursday, October 20, 2005
Issued at HKT 11:53


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