Transcript of DCEO's remarks on arrangements for hotel accommodation (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Director of the Chief Executive's Office, Professor Gabriel Leung, at a media session after the opening ceremony of Hong Kong Baptist University School of Chinese Medicine íV Lui Seng Chun today (April 25):

Reporter: Did he meet any dignitaries inside the suite?

Director of the Chief Executive's Office:  Perhaps I'll try to reiterate some of the things that I have said earlier on in English. There is a practice, a common practice in deciding any and all of these travel arrangements, including accommodation for CE and indeed for all principal officials. And indeed this practice has been in place for a very long time and it has functioned relatively well.

     And what are the factors that we would consider? How does the process actually work? So usually when we have received requests or invitations or decided to visit an overseas country or city, the closest Economic and Trade Office of the Hong Kong Government would go and do a lot of exploratory and preparatory work, and what they would look at is what kind of meetings and with whom, for example, government officials, the captains of industry, the leaders of relevant sectors, and they would look at what would be the official itinerary and then decide which accommodation in terms of hotel arrangements would be most suitable, and that would include considering traffic arrangements, the proximity of the hotel to different activities, whether the hotel has any experience in receiving overseas dignitaries and guests, and importantly, especially in certain parts of the world that may not be as safe, in terms of security, as Hong Kong, the security arrangements. And therefore, having considered all these factors, and also tendering for prices, not only for the CE's room or suite but also indeed for the entire entourage and his colleagues who out of necessity would have to accompany CE on such visits, and whether we would need any kind of function rooms and facilities to host other, larger meetings, we would look at all these factors and then the ETOs themselves would make a set of recommendations for the Office of the Chief Executive to evaluate and to decide and to approve. And once we receive these recommendations from our ETOs, we would of course revisit all these factors and then make sure that we come up with the most appropriate, the safest and also the most conservative arrangements to allow CE to carry out his functions in representing Hong Kong in different places.

Reporter: Is suite necessary this time in Brazil trip?

Director of the Chief Executive's Office: I think that once we have considered all the factors, indeed as I have just explained in Chinese, for this particular trip in South America there were indeed recommendations of different options, but for Brasilia, which is I think what you are after, there were indeed several choices, but there were a couple of choices out of these options that were good because of the security arrangements. As you can understand, Hong Kong is a very safe city and this is not the case in a number of places in the world, including in certain cities in South America, and that is why this particular hotel was chosen - based on these factors but particularly because of security.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:36