Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, friends from around the world,
Hello everybody! Hello from Hong Kong! A very warm welcome to this ceremony that marks the launch of the "Hello Hong Kong" campaign.
Some three months ago at the Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit, I told the world that Hong Kong was back on the centre stage again. Today, I am happy to tell you that Hong Kong is welcoming every one of you to join us on our centre stage, for Hong Kong is now seamlessly connected to the Mainland of China and the whole international world. There will be no isolation, no quarantine, and no restriction on experiencing our great wine and dine scenes, on doing business, on joining events and outings, on doing sports, on enjoying the hustle and bustle of Asia's world city, and so much more.
Indeed, this is the perfect time for tourists, business travellers and investors, from near and far, to come and say "Hello Hong Kong"!
The "Hello Hong Kong" campaign will focus on four major areas that will put the international spotlight on Hong Kong again.
First and foremost, we have prepared 500 000 free air tickets to welcome tourists from every part of the world to come to Hong Kong. This, ladies and gentlemen, is probably the world’s biggest welcome ever!
Beyond our well-known shopping and dining paradise, we will introduce our guests to the new and magnificent Hong Kong Palace Museum and M+ museum at the burgeoning West Kowloon Cultural District; a scenic ride on the latest generation of our Peak Tram and the brand new "Crystal+" Ngong Ping 360 cable car; new attractions at the Ocean Park and the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort; or quite simply, many more ways to take a deep breath and enjoy our great outdoors.
And they can also take advantage of an array of special offers, vouchers and other incentives to make their experience in Hong Kong all the more fantastic and memorable.
Second, riding on tourism qualities, strengths in financial, business and trade, as well as unrivaled connectivity to the huge Mainland market, we are busy welcoming back mega events and giant trade shows to boost our MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) sector.
To give you a preview of the next two months, we will be hosting sporting and outdoor events like the Hong Kong Marathon, the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament and the 100-kilometre Trailwalker; arts and cultural delights like the Art Basel, the Museum Summit and the Hong Kong Arts Festival; as well as top trade shows, exhibitions and competitions like the International Jewellery Show, the WOW Summit and the Vis East Moot, to name just a few.
I can assure you that more, and indeed many more, are in the pipeline to entice more high value-added overnight visitors to Hong Kong, the premier MICE destination of Asia.
Third, we are going all out to tell our many good Hong Kong stories to overseas and Mainland counterparts. Hong Kong enjoys unparalleled advantages under the unique "one country, two systems" principle. I will personally carry the promotional messages of our prowess as the world’s freest economy and China’s international financial centre, when I visit Saudi Arabia and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) in the coming week.
Business communities and professional groups will also reach out to various parts of the world throughout the year, to tell their global counterparts the great and true stories of Hong Kong.
Fourth, we are inviting prominent guests, from business heavyweights and political dignitaries, to media chiefs and influencers, to come to Hong Kong and see for themselves the welcoming atmosphere, promising opportunities, and many exciting developments and new attractions here.
They will take home their fond experience and memories of Hong Kong and share them with their personal and business circles. Like a ripple, our compelling appeal as a metropolis that is wide open for business and leisure will continue to spread and reach different parts of the world.
Friends around the world, everyone in Hong Kong, from transport operators to business owners and performers, have been gearing up to welcome you. We can’t wait to say hello, personally, to each and every one of you.
See you in Hong Kong, and wish you all a healthy and prosperous Year of the Rabbit!
Next, let me say a few words in Putonghua to introduce to our friends in the Mainland and around the world.
我們今天正式啓動一系列「你好，香港！Hello Hong Kong」宣傳活動，包括免費派發500 000張機票，歡迎內地和海外旅客到香港來，多走走，多看看，多找機遇。
我深信，加強推廣香港，吸引更多內地和海外朋友來臨，絕對有利於香港的經濟復蘇。今日的「你好，香港！Hello Hong Kong」大型全球宣傳活動啓動禮，除了特區政府的官員出席之外，立法會主席、旅遊發展局主席、貿易發展局主席和機場管理局主席等都來一起參與、支持。這正正標誌着我們凝聚香港社會力量，團結一致，向全世界展現香港的新魅力、新發展、新機遇。