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Hong Kong strives to make ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 a success (with photo)

    The Government will make every effort to ensure the ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 is a success to reinforce Hong Kong・s image as the world・s events capital, the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr Joseph WP Wong, said today (November 28).

     Speaking at a press conference on the event, Mr Wong said the expo, organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and hosted by Hong Kong, would run from December 4 to 8 at AsiaWorld-Expo.

     :This is the first time ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006, which is regarded as the :Olympics; of the telecommunications industry, will be held outside Geneva. It is the largest and most prestigious exhibition and forum event held in Hong Kong in recent years,; Mr Wong said.

     Officiating guests at the opening ceremony on December 3 will include the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People・s Congress, Mr Wu Bangguo, and the winner of Nobel Peace Prize 2006, Prof Muhammad Yunus.

     :This prominent event provides an invaluable platform for the information and communications technology (ICT) sector to showcase their achievements and exchange views and information with their counterparts from around the world.

     :Most importantly, hosting the event enhances Hong Kong・s role as the gateway to the Mainland market, and further enhances Hong Kong・s image as the world・s events capital,; Mr Wong said.

     He noted that by hosting the expo in Hong Kong, the Government also wished to increase the understanding of the community, in particular students, about information and communications technology.

     :We have acquired 7,500 complimentary tickets from the ITU for distribution to tertiary students, voluntary agencies, and the teachers and students of special schools.

     :Highlights of the exhibition and forum will also be broadcast at the website of Radio Television Hong Kong, and on the morning programmes of TVB・s Jade and Pearl channels,; Mr Wong said.

     All 66,000 square metres of exhibition space have been leased out, with 630 international ICT companies showcasing their latest technologies and services. Among the exhibitors, 145 are from the Mainland, while 71 companies are from Hong Kong.

     It is estimated that the event will attract up to 60,000 visitors to Hong Kong, generating a direct economic benefit of about $900 million to the exhibition and conferencing industries, as well as the hospitality, tourist and retail sectors.

     Regarding transport and traffic arrangements, the Assistant Commissioner for Transport, Ms Cindy Law, said that during the event, heavy traffic flow was expected at Chek Lap Kok and in the vicinity of the MTR Airport Express Line・s Hong Kong Station during peak hours.

     :We will implement temporary traffic arrangements, including traffic diversion and adjustment of traffic light signals, to relieve traffic congestion to and from the airport and AsiaWorld-Expo, as well as in the urban areas, when necessary.

     :The frequency of the MTR Airport Express and Tung Chung Line will be increased to carry more passengers to and from AsiaWorld-Expo. There will also be free shuttle-bus services between Tung Chung Station and AsiaWorld-Expo.

     :Passengers going to Central and the airport should make use of public transport as far as possible and allow more time to get to their destination. They should also check on the latest traffic situation from the radio or by calling the Transport Department hotline 1834567.

     :The Transport Department will work closely with the Police and other departments to monitor the traffic situation closely and to implement special traffic measures when necessary,; Ms Law said.

     The event will comprise two parts - a world-class exhibition and a high-level forum. The exhibition will enable industry players to showcase their latest equipment, services or technologies to their clients, while the forum will provide a platform for industry players, users and senior government officials to debate critical issues in policies and regulation, key technologies, business applications and environment.

     Also attending today・s press conference were the Deputy Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology (Communications and Technology), Mrs Marion Lai; Director of ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 Hong Kong, China Secretariat, Mr Albert Li; and Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations), Mr Henrique Koo.

Ends/Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Issued at HKT 20:08