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SHA's speech on signing of MoU on cultural co-operation between Hong Kong and Vietnam (English only)

    Following is a speech by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho, on the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Co-operation between Hong Kong and Vietnam today (November 9) (English only):

Ladies and gentlemen,

     Let me first thank Minister Hop and the people of Vietnam most heartily for this important step towards a closer relationship between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Republic of Vietnam in the areas of culture and the arts.

     I feel particularly honoured that Minister Hop and your team have come over to Hong Kong to join us at the Asia Cultural Co-operation Forum 2006 at a time when you are all busy preparing the 14th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting to be held on November 18 and 19, 2006.

     Vietnam and Hong Kong have forged friendly ties that span over many years. For historical reasons, Hong Kong people have been happily exposed to the Vietnamese culture, including, not the least, the Vietnamese culinary culture. On a more serious note, over the years, we have had the opportunity to experience the performances of Vietnamese arts groups and the works of Vietnamese artists. As recent as 2004, our Museum of Art presented an exhibition of Vietnamese paintings during the war between 1965 and 1975 to local audiences. Vietnam has also been our long-standing partner at the annual Asia Cultural Co-operation Forum since 2003. These cultural exchanges have all helped us to better understand and celebrate our cultural variations and similarities.

     The Memorandum of Understanding signed today sets the stage for our closer co-operation in many areas, including culture and the arts, thereby further strengthening the friendship between the Vietnamese people and the Hong Kong people.

     Minister Hop, thank you once again for your support. My team and I look forward to working with you and your colleagues in the years to come.

     Thank you.

Ends/Thursday, November 9, 2006
Issued at HKT 17:15