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Opening remarks by CS, Chairman of Board of WKCD Authority (with video)

     Following are the opening remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration and Chairman of the Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) Authority, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session regarding the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WKCD today (July 21):

     After five months of intensive global search, I am pleased to announce that, with the prior approval of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as required under the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority Ordinance, the WKCDA Board has agreed at the meeting today to appoint Mr Duncan Pescod as the next Chief Executive Officer of the Authority.

     Mr Pescod will take up his new duties on the 3rd of August, 2015. This means that there will be no gap between the outgoing and the new CEOs. This ensures that the West Kowloon Cultural District project will continue to progress in full momentum at this very important time.

     I am sure Mr Pescod is well known to all of you. With over 30 years of service in Government, he has accumulated a wealth of executive and management experience. During the past nine months with the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority as its Chief Operating Officer, Mr Pescod has worked very closely with the CEO and the management team in effectively taking forward the project in various aspects. The recruitment board I chaired has unanimously considered Mr Pescod to be the most suitable candidate to take up the CEO position. His local knowledge and experience will be invaluable in dealing with the complex interfaces required of this highly integrated project, particularly as construction activities in the District intensify.

     A project of this mega scale faces challenges of all sorts in today's environment in Hong Kong. I am glad that we have secured Legislative Council Finance Committee's funding approval for the first-stage public infrastructure works and the integrated basement works so that the delivery of the M+ museum and the Park would not be affected. With the Government's firm commitment to the West Kowloon Cultural District, the WKCD Authority Board and the management will continue to push ahead with the project in full swing. Despite some financial challenges faced by the project, the Authority will deliver the project in a cost-effective manner, and expedite the completion of some planned facilities for public enjoyment.

     I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude again to Mr Michael Lynch for his leadership in the past four years in taking forward the project. During his tenure, Michael has made significant contributions to the project both in terms of its hardware and software development. Mr Lynch has also made tremendous contributions to make WKCD a well-known entity in the international arts arena. This will no doubt be conducive to building WKCD into a world-class cultural destination.

     With the strong foundation laid by Mr Lynch, I have every confidence that Mr Pescod will continue the momentum of the project and help realise the delivery of the West Kowloon Cultural District. I look forward to working closely with Mr Pescod and wish Michael a very happy retirement.

     While Michael will return to Australia after retirement, he remains very passionate about the WKCD project, so he has kindly accepted the Board's invitation to be a Special Advisor to WKCDA for one year. He will continue to promote WKCD internationally with his unrivalled connections and vast experience in the global cultural scene. I am grateful to Michael for his commitment to this project. I am sure the Authority will benefit from his advice in taking the project forward.

Ends/Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Issued at HKT 17:18


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