SHA's speech at Signing Ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Co-operation between Hong Kong and Thailand (English only) (with photos)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Lau Kong-wah, at the Signing Ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Co-operation between Hong Kong and Thailand, in Bangkok today (February 28):
His Excellency the Minister of Culture (Minister of Culture of Thailand, Mr Vira Rojpojchanarat), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good afternoon. Three months ago, it was my honour to receive His Excellency, Minister Vira, at the Asia Cultural Co-operation Forum in Hong Kong. Today, it is my great pleasure to be here in Thailand for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cultural Co-operation between Hong Kong and Thailand.
     Hong Kong has very close cultural ties with Thailand. In the heart of Kowloon City is "Hong Kong's Little Thailand". There, friends from both Hong Kong and Thailand celebrate Songkran each year along the street of famous Thai shops and restaurants. Behind the auspicious splashes of water, it is an occasion for us to deep-dive into Thai traditions. 
     While we experience Thai culture in Hong Kong during the Thai New Year, we are showing Hong Kong culture to Thailand during the Chinese New Year. The highlights of my visit to Thailand come with the conclusion of this MoU and the performance by nine talented young musicians from Hong Kong. We must thank the Minister of Culture and China Cultural Center for their support to help stage the show.
     last year, Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations signed a free trade agreement. Together with the MoU on Cultural Co-operation, we have created an enabling environment to strengthen relations against the backdrop of the Belt and Road Initiative. The Hong Kong Government is going to set up an Economic and Trade Office in Thailand, which will be a further impetus to closer ties. Back in Hong Kong, it is an exciting time ahead as the West Kowloon Cultural District is gradually taking shape. We cordially invite you to visit Hong Kong again in the near future.  We are excited about having more Thai artists to share their arts and culture with people in Hong Kong.
     Last but not least, I would like to express my gratitude to the dedication of the Ministry of Culture of Thailand for making this Memorandum of Understanding come to fruition. We look forward to stronger cultural co-operation between Hong Kong and Thailand. Thank you.

Ends/Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Issued at HKT 14:50