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International Statistical Institute's 59th World Statistics Congress starts in HK (with photos)

     The 59th World Statistics Congress (WSC) of the International Statistical Institute (ISI), hosted by the Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, was kick-started today (August 25) in Hong Kong, bringing together about 2 500 statistical experts and practitioners from around the world to share experiences and insights in various statistical fronts.

     Addressing at the opening ceremony of the congress held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this afternoon, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor K C Chan, expressed gratitude to the ISI for giving Hong Kong the privilege to play host to the prestigious WSC for the first time and the Commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics of China, Mr Ma Jiantang, for honouring the event.

     During the ceremony, the President of the ISI, Professor Jae Chang Lee, called on statistical practitioners to reach out to people beyond the statistics profession, particularly those who need statistics for their work, and to promote better and more profitable use of statistics and its methodology in people's everyday lives.

     He said, "Let's be the leaders in plain language for statistics, as well as being the leaders in the practice of statistics."

     In his congratulatory message, Mr Ma noted that as we had entered an era of information which changed rapidly, statistics was showing its unprecedented role and social value. Official statistics had become an important foundation for all countries to understand the operational laws of economic and social issues, to promote sustainable development and to enhance exchanges and co-operation.

     Professor Chan said, "The congress has chosen 'Youth' as the theme with a view to encouraging the participation of younger statisticians and to address, from various statistical perspectives, topics surrounding this important subject.  The theme is timely indeed."  

     He remarked that our school curriculum also aims to raise awareness of the importance of statistics among the general public. The Government will also encourage public participation in the government¡¦s statistical work.

      The Commissioner for Census and Statistics, Mrs Lily Ou-yang, who is also the Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the 59th ISI WSC, said, "With the line-up of distinguished speakers and a rich scientific programme covering a diverse range of topics, I believe that the discussions during this six-day congress will be all the more innovative and inspiring."

     Established in 1885, the ISI is a renowned international statistical organisation.  Its biennial congress is a grand event of the international statistical community.  

     The 59th ISI WSC provides a wide spectrum of activities for its participants, including scientific programme, social programme, satellite meetings and short courses.  Over 240 scientific sessions, encompassing some 1 400 papers in a wide range of topics from statistical methodology to practical applications, have been organised to enable professional exchanges of the latest knowledge and innovation in statistics and to further promote global statistical development.   

     For the theme "Youth", apart from dedicating August 28 as the "Youth Theme Day", a series of sessions have been arranged throughout the congress to address, from different statistical perspectives, various topics relating to youth.  Sponsorship schemes have been put in place by the ISI and LOC for local university students and young statisticians from developing countries to attend the congress.  A record high number of 670 students will be attending this congress.

     Detailed information of the 59th WSC is available on its website (

Ends/Sunday, August 25, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:25


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