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Speech by SCST at Chinese New Year reception in Melbourne (English only)
     Following is the video speech by the Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Mr Kevin Yeung, at the Chinese New Year reception in Melbourne hosted by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Sydney today (February 15):
Acting Consul General Zeng (Acting Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Melbourne, Mr Zeng Jianhua), Honourable Members of the Parliament of Victoria, Councillors, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, friends in Melbourne,
     Kung Hei Fat Choi! Hello from Hong Kong! It is my great pleasure to join you all virtually this evening at the Chinese New Year reception in Melbourne. May I first wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy and prosperous Year of the Rabbit!
     2022 was a special year for all of us - Hong Kong has roared back and ended the Year of the Tiger with a bang. With the relaxation of various restrictions and measures related to the pandemic, a series of international events were held successfully in Hong Kong, capturing the limelight from every part of the world. We wrapped up the 12th edition of the Asia Cultural Co-operation Forum successfully in December last year, which welcomed senior government officials and delegations from around 20 countries and regions in person. We also continued to host highly regarded international fairs such as Art Basel and the Business of Design Week. For sports lovers, various world-class athletes in rugby, snooker and tennis were in town for the Hong Kong Sevens, Hong Kong Masters and the Hong Kong International Tennis Challenge respectively.
     Ladies and gentlemen, with the mere examples that I just shared, there is no denying that Hong Kong has returned to the centre stage in the global arena. The Government is committed to further enhancing the offerings in Hong Kong for people to experience all the excitements in the city. The 14th Five-Year Plan of the Central Government has indicated clear support for Hong Kong to develop into an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange. This not only recognises the unique role of Hong Kong as the melting pot of eastern and western cultures, but also provides enormous opportunities for the arts and cultural sectors to grow further in the years to come. The West Kowloon Cultural District, one of the world's largest and most ambitious cultural projects, continues to serve the global arts and cultural community with its world-class facilities. Over the past few years, we have witnessed the opening of the M+ museum and the Hong Kong Palace Museum. Together with the Hong Kong Museum of Art, this cluster of three unique art museums have empowered Hong Kong, a "must visit" city for art lovers. Let me stress that the development is not slowing a bit, with the 10-year development blueprint for arts and cultural facilities in Hong Kong, there can only be even more facilities of exceptional quality for all kinds of talents to showcase themselves.
     Like many other sectors if not all, arts and cultural developments depend on the availability of talents. Our Chief Executive has announced an array of initiatives in his 2022 Policy Address targeted at attracting talents, along with measures to take the development of the arts and cultural sectors to a new height. The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, which is among the top 10 in the world and the only in Asia in the Performing Arts category of QS World University Rankings, is planning for building another campus to nurture more arts and cultural talents. I am sure that you are no stranger to the close people-to-people links and arts and cultural exchange between Hong Kong and Australia. Our city is home to one of the largest Australian communities abroad and I have met numerous arts, cultural and sports talents from Australia since I assumed the position seven months ago. I cannot wait to see more of you to be in our city and join us in this exciting and worthwhile venture. In joint hands, the arts and cultural scene in Hong Kong will flourish better than ever.
     On this note, thank you for having me today. Happy New Year and have a lovely evening!
Ends/Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:45
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