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Speech by SCIT at the 1st Asia-Pacific Conference for ESRI Users (English only)

    Following is a speech by the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr John Tsang, at the First Asia-Pacific Conference for ESRI Users this morning (January 12) (English only):

Winnie (Tang), Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

     Good morning! I am delighted to be invited to speak at the 1st Asia-Pacific Conference for ESRI Users.

     First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate ESRI China (Hong Kong) for organising this inaugural event for the Asia Pacific region. Certainly, the Asia Pacific region has been growing at a breathtaking speed, and Hong Kong has clearly stood out as one of the outstanding members of this region. Among Hong Kong's strongest natural advantages is our   geographical location, and together with our first-class infrastructure, Hong Kong is well recognised as a model world city.  

     In particular, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure is one of the most important assets that sharpens our competitive edge, especially at the creation of an enabling environment for e-business to prosper.

     We are all now gathered here in the flagship development of our ICT infrastructure - the Cyberport. This state of the art development offers optical fibre networks, smartcard systems, wireless access, broadband and high-speed computers throughout the office space and vicinity. There are also educational, training, presentation and accommodation facilities supported by innovative use of technology. Such a multi-faceted complex houses a cluster of ICT, wireless and multi-media content creation companies. ESRI is one of the early anchor tenants to experience and enjoy such advantages offered by the Cyberport. The success of such a model fully embodies our principle of "Market Leads, Government Facilitates".

     Hong Kong has benefited from the increasing adoption of Geographic Information System (GIS) and associated mapping applications, in both the public and private sectors. Many government departments have implemented systems making innovative use of GIS. In the user presentation sessions to be held tomorrow, some of my colleagues will share with you their experience in this area. They will, also, be looking forward to learning from your insight on the wider use of geo-spatial data by the community.

     As the upstream technology of GIS applications, wireless and mobile services and technology is one of our focus areas that we spare no effort in fostering its adoption in Hong Kong. A number of initiatives to promote the usage and awareness of wireless and mobile services and technologies have been launched. The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer has established a Task Force on Facilitating the Adoption of Wireless and Mobile Services in March 2005. The Task Force aims to identify matters of common interest among various sectors and resolve related issues, and is taking forward an action programme in earnest.

     The Government will continue its leadership role in facilitating and enabling the development of ICT in Hong Kong. By putting in place the right infrastructure and the enabling business environment, and together with the concerted efforts from the industry, I am sure we will continue to harness the benefits of ICT for the betterment of our community.

     I am delighted to see the rich programme and line-up of distinguished speakers for this Conference. I believe that we have a great deal to learn from you experts, and I know that all participants will benefit greatly from the discussions.

     Thank you.

Ends/Thursday, January 12, 2006
Issued at HKT 11:22


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