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LCQ7: Sponsored Visitors Programme


Following is a question by the Hon Bernard Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr W K Lam, in the Legislative Council today (January 30):


In connection with sponsoring visits to Hong Kong by officials of governments and quasi-government bodies in other jurisdictions, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the expenditure on and the number of sponsored visitors to Hong Kong last year;

(b) the criteria adopted for deciding on the officials to be invited, and the annual quota for sponsored visitors from each jurisdiction; and

(c) the mechanism for monitoring the effectiveness of the sponsorship programmes?


Madam President,

(a) In 2001, the number of fully and partially sponsored visitors invited to visit Hong Kong under the Information Services Department's Sponsored Visitors Programme was 186, which included 67 government officials of other jurisdictions. The total expenditure was around $6 million.

(b) The Information Services Department's Sponsored Visitors Programme targets opinion formers from jurisdictions that have strong ties with Hong Kong, who are best placed to spread the Hong Kong message. The Programme is designed to enable the visitors to get a better understanding of Hong Kong and to brief them on how the Hong Kong SAR Government works. Sponsored visitors are normally recommended by relevant policy bureaux and government departments, overseas Economic and Trade Offices, consuls-general and foreign chambers of commerce in Hong Kong. They include senior government officials, business leaders, politicians, academics and members of think-tanks. There is no quota set for any particular jurisdiction.

(c) In assessing the effectiveness of the programme, once the visit is completed, the Information Services Department will collect feedback and seek views from those officials who have met and briefed the sponsored visitors, as well as from various policy bureaux, departments and overseas Economic and Trade Offices. The information gathered includes the impression and assessment of Hong Kong by the sponsored visitors and their subsequent stance and views on Hong Kong issues.

End/Wednesday, January 30, 2002


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