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Speech by Commissioner for Tourism at MEHK Association Forum for Medical Industry in Hong Kong (English only)

     Following is a speech by the Commissioner for Tourism, Mr Philip Yung, at the MEHK Association Forum for the Medical Industry in Hong Kong today (September 13):

Dr (Anthony) Chan, Mr (Anthony) Lau, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good afternoon to you all.

     It is my great pleasure to be here at the MEHK Association Forum for the Medical Industry this afternoon. Hong Kong has long been acclaimed for providing quality medical service. We are also a regional centre for medical training. With medical services being one of the six industries where we enjoy clear advantages, our health sector is well positioned to scale yet newer heights.

     Given our medical achievements, Hong Kong is the ideal destination for international medical conventions and exhibitions. Our conference and exhibition facilities are state-of-the-art and equipped with efficient and professional support services. Our gateway position and close ties with the Mainland facilitate Mainland healthcare professionals to come here to attend conferences. In the first half of this year, we received 660 000 overnight MICE (Meetings, Incentive Travels, Conventions and Exhibitions) visitors, a significant rise of 30% over the same period last year. Over the past years, we have played host to numerous major medical conventions. In the next few years, a number of similar events will take place in Hong Kong as well.

     The joint efforts of the entire healthcare profession have brought about the remarkable success of our medical industry. To enable us to stay in the forefront of global medical development, it is of paramount importance to foster knowledge exchange and engagement with our counterparts from around the world. Hosting international conferences in Hong Kong is a most effective way to keep us abreast of the latest development and sustain Hong Kong's profile in the international medical circles.

     To this end, the MEHK Office of the Hong Kong Tourism Board has organised this forum to discuss major issues about staging medical conventions. Established just two years ago, MEHK is the dedicated agency for promoting convention and exhibition business. It assists local associations in bidding for international conferences and helps event organisers search for suitable venues, conduct promotion and arrange hospitality programmes. In short, MEHK helps you all the way from bidding a conference to actually hosting it in Hong Kong.

     Ladies and gentlemen, the Government fully supports hosting more medical-related MICE events in Hong Kong. We have unrivalled edges in medical and MICE industries. Combining these together will be an immense boost to the development of both sectors. In this forum, the speakers will share their insights on and experience in planning, bidding and managing medical conventions. I look forward to welcoming more international medical conferences to Hong Kong and wish you all a fruitful and enjoyable forum.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Monday, September 13, 2010
Issued at HKT 18:31


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