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Speech by Director of Immigration, Mr Lai Tung-kwok at the 12th Pacific Rim Immigration Intelligence Conference (with photo)

Following is the speech by the Director of Immigration, Mr Lai Tung-kwok at the opening address of the 12th Pacific Rim (PACRIM) Immigration Intelligence Conference today (November 1):

Distinguished guests, delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good morning, it is my great pleasure to open today's conference. First of all, let me extend my warmest welcome to all delegates and guests from overseas. Hong Kong Immigration Service is deeply honoured to host the 12th Pacific Rim Immigration Intelligence Conference.

     At the conference last year, participants successfully discussed and identified threats and challenges encountered by various jurisdictions. Participants shared successful experiences, raised areas for future co-operation and formulated action plans. To further foster co-operation and collaboration among PACRIM members, it was agreed to establish four working groups to continue working on the projects comprising:

* Statement of principles on immigration document verification;
* Standardised symbols in document alerts;
* PACRIM terminology; and
* PACRIM immigration directory.  

     The latest developments in these projects will be presented for discussion and I look forward to reaching a general endorsement at this conference.

     This year, the conference theme is "Resolving Immigration Intelligence into Tactical Actions - from Best Principles to Best Practices Against Illegal Migration". Undoubtedly, effective intelligence exchange is crucial for neutralising trans-national illegal migration activities. On top of intelligence exchange, it is important to transform the immigration intelligence into long-term strategies and further translate it into tactical action. At this conference, through lively discussion and experience-sharing, we shall be able to identify both the "Best Principles" and "Best Practices" against illegal migration and to make suggestions on how to synchronise the immigration intelligence with tactical action.

      As we have stressed on different occasions, Hong Kong Immigration Service is committed to tackling the problem of illegal migration on all fronts. We would like to take this opportunity to share with you our experiences in strengthening enforcement action, improving intelligence networks and, in particular, adopting advanced information technology in enhancing security at our checkpoints. We believe that we have achieved a fruitful and satisfactory result.

     Last but not least, I trust that the experience-sharing of PACRIM participants will generate invaluable insights and foster co-operation among jurisdictions. I wish this year's conference every success, and all our guests a pleasant and enjoyable stay in Hong Kong.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Issued at HKT 12:23