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FS speaks at Hong Kong Houseware Fair Opening Ceremony (English only) (with photos)

Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Houseware Fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this morning (April 21)(English only):

Jeffrey [Lam], Fred [Lam], distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning. It is my great pleasure to join you today at the opening ceremony of the biggest houseware fair in Asia.

The Hong Kong Houseware Fair was first organised as a joint event with the Gifts & Premium Fair 20 years ago. Over the years, with the concerted efforts of local and overseas manufacturers and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the fair has established itself as the premier platform for the sourcing of stylish, creative and quality houseware products.

Meanwhile, our houseware industry has also moved up the value chain by putting more emphasis on innovative designs, advanced production technology, improved product quality and targeted marketing. Today, houseware products are one of Hong Kong's major export items, totalled over US$22 billion in 2005, which is a significant portion of our total exports at about 8%.

I am confident that our buyers will be impressed by the products they are going to see in this fair. Last year, the Hong Kong Houseware Fair attracted more than 2,100 exhibitors and 31,000 buyers from some 150 countries and regions. We expect we will set a new record this year.

Hong Kong's convention and exhibition business is indeed growing very rapidly, and our exhibition facilities are always in heavy demand. To reinforce our position as the trade fair capital of Asia, the Government has approved the Trade Development Council's proposal to extend the Atrium Link of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to create additional exhibition space equivalent to 1,000 extra exhibition booths. The extension works will start later this year for completion in 2009. I am sure the provision of more exhibition facilities will be warmly welcomed by all of you.

I wish you all every success in this fair and a very pleasant and enjoyable stay in Hong Kong. Thank you.

Ends/Friday, April 21, 2006
Issued at HKT 11:37


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