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SHA's speech at the opening ceremony of the Holland Village (English only)

    Following is the speech (English only) by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, at the opening ceremony of the Holland Village today (November 1):

Consul-General, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

     It gives me great pleasure to be with you today at the opening ceremony of the Holland Village.

     This Holland Village week, organised by the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, signifies the friendship and close co-operation between Hong Kong and the Netherlands. I have no doubt that this traditional village, gracefully designed and located at the heart of Hong Kong, a modernised city, will bring the Dutch culture even closer to the Hong Kong people.

     Although Hong Kong and the Netherlands are almost 6,000 miles apart, the two places have always been closely knit. For instance, the Netherlands is one of our most important trading partners worldwide and around 250 Dutch companies are represented in Hong Kong. Familiar names include the sponsors who have generously made today's event possible. Their businesses touch virtually every aspects of Hong Kong people's everyday life.

     The cultural connections between Hong Kong and the Netherlands are perhaps as close as the economic and trade links, if not closer. In 2005, we signed with the Netherlands a Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Co-operation, which provides a broad framework for the promotion of cultural co-operation initiatives. Examples include the performances by renowned performing groups of the Netherlands in year-round cultural programmes, and the Dutch films screened in various film festivals. On this solid foundation, I am sure that these cultural exchanges have contributed and would continue to contribute to the furtherance of understanding and friendship between the people of the two places.

     May I wish every success to this meaningful event organised here at the Chater Garden by the Garden of Europe.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Thursday, November 1, 2007
Issued at HKT 17:00


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