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Opening remarks by SEN at Eco Expo Asia 2009 (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, at the Opening Ceremony of Eco Expo Asia 2009 today (October 28):

Fred, Jason, Ladies and Gentlemen,

     I am delighted to be here today to officiate at the Opening Ceremony of "Eco Expo Asia 2009".  First, I would like to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to our guests from the mainland and overseas.  Whether you come from the Pearl River Delta and pan-Pearl River Delta region, or from Europe, Australia or North America, a very warm welcome to Hong Kong and the Expo.

     Compared to the many other established exhibitions organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, "Eco Expo Asia" is a relatively green event.  But in the short period since it was founded, the exhibition has grown both in terms of scale and diversity of companies taking part in the week-long event.  In its fourth term, the expo has attracted about 200 exhibitors from Hong Kong and around the world.  The total number of participants is 60% over that of last year.

     The growth of the Expo owes much to the heightened awareness of the well-being of the environment.  From the mainland to America and Europe, policy-makers are actively looking for solutions to the challenges of climate change and pollution.  Sustainability is high on our agenda.  At the individuals' level, the concern for the environment is more than often translated into consumer decisions for green products.  Not to mention the fact that certain environmentally conscious acts, such as energy saving, could help cut the electricity bills and yield tangible benefits for households and enterprises.

     I am glad that "Eco Expo Asia" is continuing to draw the interest of entrepreneurs and policy-makers.  Further growth of the Expo will be underpinned by two major developments.  As you know, Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong have agreed on the "Green Pearl River Delta Quality Living Area" as the vision for the Pearl River Delta (PRD).  As the governments in the PRD area act to implement this vision, it will generate a big demand for technologies, services and products in the many affluent cities in the region.

     Closer to home, the Chief Executive announced earlier that Hong Kong would strengthen its support for environmental industries as one of the six new priority industries on top of our four pillar sectors.  Together with the green PRD agenda, this will provide a good backdrop for environmental industries to develop and grow.

     Ladies and Gentlemen, today's event is a good example that green makes economic sense.  There are tremendous business opportunities in going green.  It is a demonstration that business can contribute to a better environment.  I hope you'll enjoy the expo, as well as the concurrent conference and the public day on Saturday.

     I wish you all a very fruitful and successful Expo.

Ends/Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Issued at HKT 14:55


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