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Old January 23rd, 2005, 01:29 AM   #1
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Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition News

Usage Statistics
In fiscal year 2003/04 (1 July 2003 - 30 June 2004), a total of 1,890 events were held at the HKCEC. As a part of business, there were 1,382 events utilizing major venues i.e. exhibition halls, convention halls, theatres, and large meeting rooms. These events included 95 major exhibitions (occupying 1,819 sq m or above), of which 67 were recurrent whereas 24 were new; 50 international conferences or conventions; 148 entertainment events including 61 film shows; 335 banquets; and 754 corporate events, press conferences, seminars, and others.





Winter 2004
The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Experience (7-9 February, 7,000 pax)
- International Liver Congress (14-17 February, 2,000 pax)
- 14th Baptist Youth World Conference 2004 (4-8 August, 8,000 pax)
- American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) World Travel Congress 2004 (24 September-2 October, 5,000 pax)
- Robert Kiyosaki Live in Asia 2004 (1 November, 4,000 pax)
- 9th Asia Pacific Society Respiratology (APSR) (9-13 December, 1,200 pax)

Summer 2004
During July and August 2004, HKCEC accommodated a total of 24 exhibitions, 26% up from the 19 exhibitions held in Summer 2003. 10 out of 24 exhibitions showed an increase in total exhibition area this summer :
- Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2005 (13-16 July 2004), up 39% in space occupied
- Hong Kong Wedding, Banquet & Wedding Financial Services Expo 2004 (16-18 July 2004), up 19% in space occupied
- Hong Kong Book Fair 2004 (21-26 July 2004), up 25% in space occupied
- Summer FUNtasy 2004 - 6th Hong Kong Comics Festival/1st Hong Kong Game Fair/X-Zone/Band X Dance (30 July - 3 Aug 2004), up 4% in space occupied
- The 12th International Baby/Children Products Expo and 16th Hong Kong Baby Crawling Contest (7-9 Aug 2004), up 7% in space occupied
- Food Expo 2004 (12-16 Aug 2004), up 64% in space occupied
- International Conference & Exhibition of the Modernization of Chinese Medicine & Health Products (12-16 Aug 2004), up 35% in space occupied
- 2004 Hong Kong High-End Audio-Visual Show (20-22 Aug 2004), up 82% in space occupied
- 36th Wedding Fashion Expo (21-23 Aug 2004), up 31% in space occupied
- Citihomex 2004 (21-23 Aug 2004), up 25% in space occupied

Total exhibition area utilized in the two months increased from 1,084,424 sq m last summer to 1,094,795 sq m. Total attendance grew 6% to 1,668,312.

Christmas 2004
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) has recorded its most active Christmas Holiday event activity and highest patronage in the 16-year history of the venue.

For the four-day period from Christmas Eve through 27 December 2004, the internationally renowned exhibition and convention venue hosted 47 separate licensed events drawing a total attendance of over 243,000 patrons.

Event activity included a major consumer show, three major concerts, several corporate banquets and 15 wedding receptions. The venue's seven restaurants were active throughout the period attracting 10,400 patrons, primarily for lunch and dinner promotions in conjunction with Hong Kong's usual festive Christmas season activities. The largest single event was the Hong Kong Mega Showcase and Food Festival 2004 which drew over 195,000 patrons, with 65,000 attending on Christmas day. The three concerts drew 21,000 patrons.

Cliff Wallace, Managing Director of the HKCEC (Management) Limited (HML), HKCEC's management and operating company, expressed great satisfaction. "We once again have exhibited the uniqueness of this Centre to our local community during this holiday period by showing the versatility and functionality of the Centre. To host 47 independent and different events in a short period of four days, and to do this successfully from a logistics and crowd management standpoint, is extremely rewarding". He continued, "We hope that our community is once again reminded of the Centre's benefit and how fortunate we are to be located in the heart of Hong Kong and serving the community's needs during non-commercial business periods".

The HKCEC remains one of the busiest convention and exhibition centres in the world and has hosted an average of five licensed independent events per day since its opening in 1988.
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Old January 23rd, 2005, 01:42 AM   #2
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Key Events of 2004

September : Forbes Global CEO Conference




Meeting of the minds: Invest Hong Kong's Director-General of Investment Promotion Mike Rowse (right), welcomes the return of the world's top CEOs to Hong Kong at the opening of the Forbes Global CEO Conference, while Forbes President, CEO and Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes looks on. (September 21, 2004)

World business leaders meet in Hong Kong for Forbes Global CEO Conference

Over 350 top business executives and government leaders from all over the world gather in Hong Kong on September 21 for the fourth annual Forbes Global CEO Conference to discuss current events, the global economy and the most important issues facing businesses under the theme "The Connected World".

Invest Hong Kong is the host sponsor of this event. This is the second time that the conference - one of the most prestigious global business events - is being held in Hong Kong.

The Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, Mr Mike Rowse, welcomed all participants to Hong Kong. He said, "We are pleased to see the return of the world's top CEOs to Hong Kong. With the overwhelming number of participants visiting our city from the region, Europe and North America, we are certain that this year's Conference, like the one held in Hong Kong two years ago, will be another great success."

"The conference taking place in our city reinforces Hong Kong as an international business centre where leaders exchange ideas and make important decisions."

"Major high-profile international business events such as the Forbes CEO Conference provide excellent platforms to demonstrate our city's attractiveness as a prime investment destination to business decision-makers worldwide," he said.

On the conference's first evening, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr Tung Chee Hwa, will make welcoming remarks. The Governor of Guangdong Province, Mr Huang Huahua, will also deliver remarks.

At "A Meeting of Minds" session, a discussion on the global impact of the US elections will be moderated by the President, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes, Mr Steve Forbes.

At the three-day conference, business and political leaders will share their insights on crucial issues affecting the global marketplace in various themed sessions. Topics include the global economy, off-shoring, global branding, trends in transport and tourism, corporate governance and social responsibility, trade policies, the private sector in China, the CEO and technology and developing global cities.

The Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr John Tsang, will participate in a panel on "Developing global cities: the road map to 'hub' status" at the closing lunch on September 23. He will discuss Hong Kong's role as a regional hub and a two-way platform for investment and trade.

Additional Information
Further Information from Forbes
Speech by the Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa

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Old February 2nd, 2005, 06:10 AM   #3
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Europe-Asia Heads of Intellectual Property Offices conference held in HK
February 1, 2005



Heads of European and Asian intellectual property (IP) offices will exchange information on the latest developments in IP protection with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and other leading IP organisations when they meet in Hong Kong today (February 1) in a regional conference jointly organised by the Europe Patent Office (EPO) and the Intellectual Property Department.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference, the President of the Legislative Council, Mrs Rita Fan, said every region had its own challenges in IP protection and in particular, IP was vital to supporting economic development in Asia.

"Strong IP protection reduces investment risk and thus enhances investor confidence. Attracting investors to develop locally-based research and development as well as creative industries can help Asian economies create a more sustainable base for longer-term economic development," Mrs Fan said. "This is one of the benefits of under-pinning our economic development with a strong IP protection regime.

"The EPO and the WIPO are the IP bodies who have the most expertise built up over many years and an understanding of the urgent issues faced every day in the developing world. I hope they will continue to develop technical assistance programmes for our Asian neighbours."

President of the EPO Dr Alain Pompidou said today's conference would provide a unique opportunity to share information on the latest developments in the European and Asian IP offices and trilateral partners (US, Europe and Japan), exchange views on the challenges that IP offices were facing and discuss how co-operation could help overcome these.

"It is vital not only to improve co-ordination in the field of co-operation but also to build up firm partnerships between IP offices to develop modern and efficient patent systems for the benefit of our respective industries and societies both in Asia and Europe," Mr Pompidou said.

The officiating guests also included the Director General of Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, Ms Liew Woon Yin.

Entitled "Europe-Asia Heads of Intellectual Property Offices Conference", the two-day conference is being held at the Regal Hongkong Hotel today and tomorrow.

The conference is a continual regional co-operative event pursuant to the success of the Europe-Asia Heads of IP Offices Conference held in Singapore in 2003. It brings together heads of IP offices from the EPO, the WIPO, the United States, the Mainland, Hong Kong and other Asian regions to a platform for networking and provides a basis for sharing ideas and solving problems.

Heads of IP offices from the EPO, the Mainland, Japan, Korea, Cambodia, France and Hong Kong spoke on recent developments and future trends of their respective IP offices. Asian regional patent offices including Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia exchanged information about challenges faced by their IP offices and discussed how international co-operation could help overcome them. The WIPO, and patent offices of Singapore and Australia shared ideas and followed up on the progress of automation tools and other technical co-operation among IP offices.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 02:55 AM   #4
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Key Events of 2004

Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair


The first mega trade show in HKCEC in 2004 - Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair recorded 8% increase in overseas exhibitors

Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair (6-9 January 2004) was the New Year's first mega trade fair to be staged at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). HKCEC is managed and operated by Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (HML), a member of NWS Holdings Limited ("NWS Holdings", Stock code: 0659).

Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the Toys Fair was in its 30th edition. The Toys Fair is the world's third largest toys fair and the biggest in Asia. It utilised 50,819 sq m gross exhibition area. This year, it attracted a total of 1,807 exhibitors (757 overseas exhibitors, 8% increase from last edition) from 35 countries and regions, 6% increase from last edition, and 25,785 buyers from 123 countries and regions.

Held concurrently with the Toys Fair was the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair. The Stationery Fair attracted 221 exhibitors from 12 countries and regions, 5% increase from last year, and 12,321 buyers from 114 countries and regions, 7% increase from last year.

The two fairs recorded encouraging results which bodes well for business in 2004 and the future. Hong Kong is truly the gateway to global markets. Its first-class business infrastructure, free flow of goods and information and strong regulatory environment has reinforced Hong Kong's position as the springboard for local and foreign enterprises to expand regionally and globally. As at 2 June 2003, the number of regional headquarters in Hong Kong reached 966 and there are 2,241 companies operated regional offices in the city, up 3.2% from last year.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 03:15 AM   #5
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Key Events of 2004

American Society of Travel Agents’ (ASTA) 74th World Travel Congress


2,000 Travel Industry Leaders Attend ASTA’s 74th World Travel Congress



Hong Kong, Sept. 28, 2004 – Today at the opening press conference of the American Society of Travel Agents’ (ASTA) 74th World Travel Congress--considered one of the premier annual events for the global travel industry--ASTA Congress Chair Bev Zukow, CTC, announced that the event is expected to draw approximately 2,000 travel agents and other travel industry delegates, with more expected to register on-site during the event. The 2004 ASTA World Travel Congress is being held at the Hong Kong Convention Center on Sept. 28-Oct. 3.

In years past, cities hosting an ASTA World Travel Congress have seen considerable and immediate economic benefits. Just as important is the fact that Hong Kong, as well as the region’s tourism industry, can count on an increase in the number of visitors it will see in the coming months and years.

“Any community which has previously hosted an ASTA World Travel Congress event knows that the result for them is an influx of travelers who were sent there at the recommendation of their travel agents,” said Zukow. “It’s not unusual for host cities to realize an increase in tourism in the years immediately following ASTA’s World Travel Congress.”

Hong Kong Tourism Board Executive Director Clara Chong announced at the press conference that Hong Kong had just achieved the new milestone of welcoming two million visitors in a single month and was on track to exceed 20 million for the full year. “Hong Kong is a city that always has something new and exciting to offer, so we treasure this chance for such an influential gathering of travel professionals to experience our latest products for themselves,” she said.

“We hope, too, that by hosting such a large and prestigious event we can showcase Hong Kong’s strengths as a leading business, business-cum-leisure and convention destination, especially its role as the number one meeting place for reaching the China market, as evidenced by the involvement of our tourism partners from the Pan-Pearl River Delta region in this Congress,” she added.

Since the focus of this year’s Congress is education, ASTA travel agent members will be taking advantage of a host of Congress seminars ranging from hands-on technology sessions to destination specialist courses. ASTA has provided delegates with a program that addresses their current needs, including seminars on everything from tips on proven low-cost marketing strategies and maintaining company morale to strategic ideas for remaining profitable in today’s marketplace.

Represented in the Exhibit Hall are countries and destinations from Europe, Asia, South America, the Caribbean, Canada and the United States. Also exhibiting are hotel and resort companies representing thousands of worldwide properties, airlines, car rental and limousine companies, tour companies representing multiple worldwide destination products, travel-related companies, insurance companies, cruise lines and others.

ABOUT ASTA
The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents and its affiliated organizations is to enhance the professionalism and profitability of members worldwide through effective representation in industry and government affairs, education and training, and by identifying and meeting the needs of the traveling public. The Society is the world's largest and most influential travel trade association with over 20,000 members in 140 countries.

Speech by SEDL at opening gala dinner of ASTA World Travel Congress 2004

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Economic Development and Labour, Mr Stephen Ip, at opening gala dinner of American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) World Travel Congress 2004 today (September 28) (English only):

Bev, Richard, Selina, distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, a very warm welcome to all of you, especially those who have come a long way from the United States. We are delighted that ASTA has chosen Hong Kong to host its 74th World Travel Congress. We will make sure that you will get the most out of this 6-day congress.

The tourism industry has encountered many challenges in recent years. Terrorist attacks and the outbreak of SARS had deterred many tourists from travelling. Good news is: the industry has revived quickly and there is good cooperation across all sectors of the travel industry. The ASTA Congress provides a good opportunity for the travel trade to meet and network, and to share ideas and experiences. By holding the conference in Hong Kong, you have an added advantage of seeing and experiencing for yourselves first-hand what Hong Kong has to offer you and your clients.

Hong Kong has always been one of the favourite tourist destinations in Asia. For many decades, we have been called "The Pearl of the Orient" and "Shopping Paradise". There are all kinds of retail outlets in Hong Kong, from open markets in Stanley, Hollywood Road, to world class shopping arcades in Central and Tsim Sha Tsui. Hong Kong is also a place for gourmets as we have tens of thousands of good restaurants.

Apart from fascinating shopping and dining experiences, we are also doing a lot to enrich our tourism products. On family travel, Hong Kong Disneyland is scheduled to open next year. On eco-tourism, we are building Asia's largest man-made wetland park. We are also building a cable car system to take tourist to the Big Buddha on Lantau Island.

Under the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between Hong Kong and the Mainland, Hong Kong companies are allowed to set up joint ventures with Mainland travel agents to operate inbound and domestic travel in the Mainland. This arrangement not only opens an avenue of cooperation between Hong Kong and Mainland companies, but also provides investment opportunities for overseas firms wanting a foothold in the Mainland market through Hong Kong. The Mainland market has enormous potential. According to the World Tourism Organization, China would have 130 million international visitors in 2020 while Hong Kong would have 56 million visitors.

Ladies and gentlemen, I wish all of you participating in the 74th ASTA World Travel Congress a very successful and rewarding congress and I congratulate the organising committee on what I am sure will be a truly memorable and successful event.

Thank You.

Tourism hits a new high with 2 million visitors in August
The record figure provides a perfect backdrop for World Travel Congress

Peter Michael
29 September 2004
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong has been offered a new tourism slogan: "Hong Kong: See It, Sell It".

Authorities yesterday revealed tourism figures had hit a record high with more than 2 million visitors last month.

A total of 14 million visitors had been recorded in the first eight months of the year, said Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Tourist Board.

The news comes with more than 2,000 leading US travel professionals in the city for last night's opening ceremony of the four-day 2004 World Travel Congress, at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

"Hong Kong is more than just a destination. It is an experience," said Bev Zukow, the congress' chairwoman.

"Those four words, 'Live It, Love It', are so clever," she said.

"Hong Kong has a mystique about it. It's vibrant, so alive and so diverse. And that is why we are here to 'see it, sell it'."

Organised by the American Society of Travel Agents, the conference is expected to pump more than $23 million directly into the economy over the next four days.

"Much more important still is the multiplier effect," said Tourism Board executive director Clara Chong Ming-wah.

"This will create worldwide publicity for Hong Kong, and its selling points as a business and leisure destination."

Following the "magic milestone" of 2 million visitors to Hong Kong last month - and averaging about 400,000 visitors a week over the year - the city was likely to achieve the target of 20.5 million visitors for the full year, she said.

"We place great value on the US market for a number of good reasons. Firstly, it's our largest long-haul market, in fact the fourth-largest of all our source markets.

"Secondly, it has a very high business travel component: last year 43 per cent of all US visitors came on business, compared with 31 per cent across all markets.

"Thirdly, due in part to the large business component, the per-capita spending of US overnight visitors is one of our highest at US$720 in 2003, nearly 24 per cent growth on the previous year."

She said the conference was an opportunity to reinforce Hong Kong's reputation as the events capital of Asia.

"[It will] highlight Hong Kong's ideal location as an international transport hub and meeting point for China business and leisure travel [as well as being] a market leader in the high-yield conventions and exhibitions segment."

Richard Copland, president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Agents, said the "brave new world of travel" has suffered "four years of conflict, challenge and change".

"If you were to write a book - a thriller or science fiction - you couldn't make this up," he said.
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Old February 15th, 2005, 07:25 PM   #6
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Global experts gather to fight money laundering and drug abuse
February 16 and 17 & 23 to 25

http://agile.portalvision.hk/chamber/



Two international conferences will be held in Hong Kong this week and next to unite global efforts to tackle the problems of money laundering and drug abuse.

The two conferences, namely "International Conference -- Creating Global Partnership and Synergy in the Fight Against Money Laundering" and "International Conference on Tackling Drug Abuse", have been organised by the Narcotics Division of the Security Bureau and the Action Committee Against Narcotics.

The Commissioner for Narcotics, Mrs Rosanna Ure, said international cooperation was vital in combating money laundering and drug abuse as the problems were evolving and new trends emerged all the time.

"We hope that the conferences will provide opportunities for regional and international exchanges of experience and information," Mrs Ure said.

A number of renowned speakers and experts have been invited from overseas, the Mainland and the local business sector and related fields to participate in the two conferences.

The "International Conference -- Creating Global Partnership and Synergy in the Fight Against Money Laundering" will be held on Wednesday and Thursday (February 16 and 17) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Speakers will deliver keynote speeches on the worldwide effort being made against money laundering and terrorist financing as well as international collaboration in future. Speakers from the United Kingdom legal sector will also share their experiences in implementing the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) revised Forty Recommendations.

The keynote speaker for a luncheon on February 16, Deputy Governor of the People's Bank of China, Mr Li Ruogu, will talk about China's anti-money laundering measures and related international cooperation.

Four concurrent sessions will be conducted to discuss challenges and opportunities faced by law enforcement agencies and prosecutors; the role of financial sectors and designated non-financial businesses and professions in the fight against money laundering; and the effects of cultural, economic and social differences on approaches adopted to tackle money laundering.

To be held from February 23 to 25 at the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, the "International Conference on Tackling Drug Abuse" will be a two-and-a-half day conference-cum-visit event.

Plenary sessions and concurrent workshops will serve as platforms for overseas and local anti-drug workers to share experiences and discuss ways forward in five different areas -- the challenge of the changing patterns of drug abuse; preventive education; treatment and rehabilitation; effective enforcement strategies and research.

Visits to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Drug InfoCentre and drug treatment and rehabilitation centres will also be arranged for participants so they can see Hong Kong's efforts in preventive education, treatment and rehabilitation.

Mrs Ure also said today that Hong Kong would need to amend the law in order to comply with the new international standards on combating money laundering as promulgated by the FATF.

The FATF adopted and issued the latest version of Forty Recommendations and the Special Recommendation IX (SR IX) in June 2003 and October last year respectively, aiming to cut off the financial lifeline of terrorists and other criminals.

The new set of Forty Recommendations stipulates that basic obligations such as customer due diligence, record keeping and suspicious transaction reporting (STR) should be set out in law or regulations. The FATF also extended the remit of the Forty Recommendations to cover six categories of designated non-financial businesses and professions. They include real estate agents, dealers in precious metals and stones, trust and company service providers, lawyers, accountants and casinos.

SR IX calls on countries to stop cross-border movement of currency and monetary instruments related to money laundering and terrorist financing. It also asks countries to confiscate such funds they intercept.

"We already have complied with the STR requirements in our current legislation. What needs to be done now is to write the obligations relating to customer due diligence and record keeping as well as that concerning the implementation of SR IX into the relevant law.

"This is a new standard adopted by the FATF and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank. If Hong Kong does not implement the recommendation, we will run the risk of being assessed as not compliant by the FATF under its mutual evaluation exercise or by the IMF/World Bank under their Financial System Assessment Program. Such an assessment would have adverse consequences to our status as an international financial centre," Mrs Ure stressed.

The Government is now seeking legal advice and consulting related trades and professions on the legislative amendments required. The proposal will be presented to the Legislative Council Panel on Security this legislative year.

Posters and leaflets were issued earlier to remind public of the importance of reporting suspicious transactions. A new TV and radio Announcement in the Public Interest will also be launched next month.

To educate the public about the harm of money laundering to Hong Kong and the community at large, five episodes of a one-minute programme are being broadcast on TVB Jade this week from Monday to Friday at 11.35pm. Another five episodes focusing on drug problem will be aired in the week beginning February 21.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 09:07 PM   #7
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Experts recognise the importance of global cooperation to combat money laundering
Government Press Release - Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Over 400 experts, professionals and practitioners from overseas, the Mainland and the local business sector and related fields today (February 16) attended the "International Conference - Creating Global Partnership and Synergy in the Fight Against Money Laundering" organized by the Narcotics Division of the Security Bureau and the Action Committee Against Narcotics.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference, Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, said that Hong Kong was determined to create a strong and tight security network together with other jurisdictions to protect Hong Kong's premier status as an international financial centre from the harm of money laundering.

"No financial centre is immune from the risk of its infrastructure being misused by money launderers. While New York, London and Hong Kong must do their best individually to protect their markets against money launderers or terrorists, none of us can really succeed on our own," said Mr Tang.

He pointed out that sustained and coordinated efforts were essential in the difficult and protracted war against the crime.

"To stay ahead of the criminals, it is essential to continually review our strategies, improve our skills and plan ahead," Mr Tang added.

He said that Hong Kong had already started to the work of putting in place the latest recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), reinforcing the territory's role in the global partnership.

At today's plenary session, President of the FATF, Mr Jean-Louis Fort from France shared with conference participants his observations of the worldwide effort against money laundering and terrorist financing.

He told participants that in countries with effective anti-money and terrorist financing laundering systems, the financial sector recognized that these responsibilities were not just an additional burden imposed by the government but also a necessary component of their own risk management and governance strategies.

Mr Fort said, "The integrity of our financial systems and markets worldwide depends heavily on both the reality and the perception that high legal, professional and ethical standards apply."

Also speaking at the plenary session was Assistant Director of Monetary and Financial Systems Department and Chief of Financial Market Integrity Division, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mr R Barry Johnston. He shed light on the vulnerability of international financial system to money laundering risk.

Director of Regulatory Transactions and Sector Leader for Financial Crime, Financial Services Authority from the United Kingdom, Mr Philip Robinson related to the audience his experience as a regulator of the UK financial service; Mr Collingwood Thompson QC, a member of the Money Laundering Working Group, Bar Council of England and Wales, shared with participants his observations in the legal profession's need to remain vigilant in dealing with possible money laundering cases.

Deputy Governor of the People's Bank of China, Mr Li Ruogu, delivered a speech on China's anti-money laundering efforts at today's luncheon.

At the four concurrent sessions, speakers discussed the challenges and opportunities faced by law enforcement agencies and prosecutors; the role of financial sectors and designated non-financial businesses and professions in the fight against money laundering; and the effects of cultural, economic and social differences on approaches adopted to tackle money laundering.

The conference will continue tomorrow morning. Chair of the Money Laundering Task Force, Law Society of England and Wales, Mr Robin Booth, will talk about his views on how the Revised 40 Recommendations are implemented in the UK. Mr Christopher Malan of the South African Government will, on behalf of the Incoming President of the FATF, Professor K Asmal (South Africa), deliver the latter's speech on how the international community should work together to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in the light of recent developments.

Commissioner for Narcotics, Mrs Rosanna Ure, will chair a presentation-cum-panel discussion session to sum up the highlights of the concurrent sessions held this afternoon.
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 06:23 PM   #8
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Experts to join International Conference on Tackling Drug Abuse
Government Press Release - Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Participants from overseas, the Mainland, Macau and local anti-drug fields will join the "International Conference on Tackling Drug Abuse" to be held from tomorrow (February 23) to February 25.

Organised by the Narcotics Division, Security Bureau and the Action Committee Against Narcotics (ACAN), the conference aims to promote international and regional sharing of experience on the theme "Recent Advances in Anti-substance Abuse Initiatives in the Global Context".

The Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, and the ACAN Chairman, Dr Choi Yuen-wan, will speak at the opening ceremony at the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine.

A number of renowned speakers are invited to join the conference. They include the Deputy Secretary-General of the National Narcotics Control Commission, Mr Liu Zhimin; Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Centre for East Asia and the Pacific, Mr Akira Fujino; the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, US Department of Justice, Ms Karen P Tandy; Honorary Executive Director of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Mr Georges Estievenart; Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, Mr Michael Joseph Keelty and Medical Officer of the World Health Organization (Western Pacific Regional Office), Dr Hao Wei.

Five concurrent workshops will be held to serve as platforms for overseas and local anti-drug workers to share experiences and discuss ways forward in five different areas -- the challenge of the changing patterns of drug abuse; preventive education; treatment and rehabilitation; effective law enforcement strategies to combat cross border drug trafficking and abuse; and advances in drug abuse research.

Study visits to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Drug InfoCentre and drug treatment and rehabilitation centres have been arranged for conference participants to see Hong Kong's efforts in preventive education, treatment and rehabilitation.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 08:49 PM   #9
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International conference to tackle drug problems attracts 400 participants
Government Press Release - Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Overseas and local experts, academics, social workers, government officials and professionals from related fields attended the international conference on "Recent Advances in Anti-substance Abuse Initiatives in the Global Context" organised by the Narcotic Division, Security Bureau and the Action Committee Against Narcotics today (February 23).

Nearly 400 participants came from the Mainland, Macau and various overseas countries including USA, Japan, Australia and Singapore. They share the latest information and experience on all aspects of the drug problem and the effective ways to tackle the issue.

The Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, said in his welcoming speech, "To tackle the problem of drug, Hong Kong has been adopting a five-pronged approach, namely legislation and law enforcement, treatment and rehabilitation, preventive education and publicity, research, and international cooperation."

He noted that the sustained effort had borne fruit with the number of reported abusers on the downward trend since 2001, and the figures in 2003 were the lowest in the past 10 years.

"On treatment and rehabilitation, our philosophy is that drug abusers should be given a chance to cut their ties with drugs and become productive and law-abiding citizens. To do this, we need the support from the community. Our government has been working closely with voluntary organisations in providing treatment and rehabilitation services.

"Education is the most powerful weapon in tackling drug abuse, especially amongst young people. We work hand in hand with schools, parents and the community to alert them to the harms of drugs. In 2004, our educational effort received a big boost with the establishment of the Hong Kong Drug InfoCentre, the first-ever exhibition centre on anti-drug education set up by the government," he continued.

Mr Lee pointed out that international cooperation was one of the key ingredients of Hong Kong's efforts against transnational drug syndicates.

"Hong Kong has maintained and will continue to develop close cooperation with external agencies on various fronts covering collection and analysis of intelligence, law enforcement, judicial cooperation, experience sharing and information exchange on drug abuse and trafficking trends.

"However, as drug trends and patterns change, we will have to respond quickly on all fronts to prevent the problem from getting out of hand, and to tackle new problems such as the increasing prominence of psychotropic substances, and the trend of poly-drug abuse, especially among the young," said Mr Lee.

He was optimistic that the problem of drug abuse could be kept under control given the firm commitment of the government, the professionalism of the law enforcement officers and the dedication of social service workers.

Deputy Secretary-General, National Narcotics Control Commission, Mr Liu Zhimin, delivered a keynote speech outlining China's efforts to combat the problem. Another keynote speaker, Representative, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Centre for East Asia and the Pacific, Mr Akira Fujino, talked about establishing necessary framework for information exchange and establishing the working mechanism and standard operating procedures among authorities. The third keynote speaker was the Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration, US Department of Justice, Ms Karen P Tandy, who spoke on the strategies and achievements of the USA on countering drug abuse. Other major speakers include the Honorary Executive Director of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Mr Georges Estievenart; the Commissioner of Australian Federal Police, Mr Michael Joseph Keelty; and Dr Hao Wei from the Mental Health and Control of Substance Abuse unit of Western Pacific Regional Office, World Health Organisation (WHO).

Conference participants were also briefed on the drug abuse situations of European Union countries, Norway and Australia as well as the work of WHO.

The two-and-a-half-day conference has various concurrent workshops for participants to discuss a wide range of topics, including the change in drug abuse patterns and drug preventive measures.

Study visits to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Drug InfoCentre as well as drug treatment and rehabilitation centres in Hong Kong have also been arranged for participants.
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Old February 27th, 2005, 10:59 PM   #10
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Sunday February 27, 10:14 PM
Activists scout venue of Hong Kong WTO meeting, plan 5,000-strong protest

AP - About 5,000 activists are planning to stage a protest ahead of the World Trade Organization meeting to be held in December in Hong Kong, organizers said Sunday.

About 250 activists from around the world agreed at a two-day meeting that ended here Sunday to hold a protest Dec. 10, said Apo Leong, a meeting organizer. The WTO meeting is scheduled for Dec. 13-18.

The protesters plan to march along a route ending near the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, the venue of the WTO conference, Leong said, adding that the meeting participants visited the exhibition center Sunday.

The Hong Kong WTO meeting is aimed at reducing tariffs and subsidies, and forging a trade treaty that would take effect in 2006 or early 2007.

Past WTO meetings have drawn thousands of protesters who claim a globalized economic system benefits rich nations at the expense of poorer ones. Some of the protests turned violent.

Deputy-General of Trade and Industry Raymond Young said Saturday that the government may set up a designated demonstration area outside the venue for expected protests.

Accustomed to mostly orderly demonstrations, Hong Kong's police have moved to stock up on non-lethal ammunition, such as rubber bullets, in preparation for the WTO meeting.

Leong said the activists would work with police to ensure that the protest is peaceful.

"We are rational, nonviolent," he said.

Leong added that agriculture groups and others worried about the prospect of losing subsidies due to a trade agreement would also hold smaller protests to air their concerns before and during the WTO meeting.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 06:35 PM   #11
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ICT industry pledges support to ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006
Government Press Release

About 200 representatives of the local information and communications technology industry attended a reception this (February 28) evening to pledge their support to the hosting of the ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 in Hong Kong.

The reception was hosted by the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau, Mr John Tsang.

Speaking during the reception, Mr Tsang said that the ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 would help buttress Hong Kong's position as the ICT capital of the region and the premiere events capital of the world.

"I can promise you that it will be an event with a difference. First, it will take place at the doorstep of the most exciting developing market in the world. There will no doubt be a massive turnout of notable Mainland and international companies. We in Hong Kong will be playing our unique role as that principal gateway and platform for all concerned.

"Second, to enable overseas and local companies to seize the opportunities of the Chinese market, we will be organising Business Facilitation Service before, during and after the event offering business matching service, seminars and visits to selected parts of the Mainland.

"Third, with the convergence of technology, the Olympics of Telecommunications will be broadened even further to encompass information technology, digital entertainment, service and content provision via the ICT platform to demonstrate the vibrancy of the expanded value chain. Both the exhibits and discussions at the Forum will reflect updated and anticipated trends and issues," he said.

Mr Tsang pointed out that companies in Hong Kong must not miss this unprecedented opportunity taking place right here in our home city to network with your Mainland and overseas counterparts, and showcase your products and capability at the same time to the world in our brand new Asia World Expo at the airport.

"Small and medium sized companies can get together to set up Hong Kong pavilions to galvanise their strength. Tertiary institutions can tap into the discussions at the Forum to deliberate on key social and technological issues in the modern digital world," he said.

The ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 will be staged at the 66,000 square metres of exhibition space offered by the AsiaWorld-Expo from December 4 - 8, 2006.

It is estimated that the event will attract some 100,000 overseas visitors, generating about $1.2 billion of direct economic benefits for Hong Kong.

The ITU TELECOM WORLD is the most prominent global ICT event held every three to four years. Hong Kong previously hosted two ITU regional events - ITU TELECOM ASIA 2000 and ITU TELECOM ASIA 2002.

The event comprises two parts - the Exhibition and the Forum. The exhibition enables industry players to showcase their latest equipment, services or technologies, while the Forum provides a platform for the participants to debate on critical issues in policies and regulation, key technologies, business applications and environment.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 12:58 AM   #12
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Hong Kong International Jewellery Show



The stage is set for the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show to put up a dazzling performance this week as it welcomes a record of over 1,500 exhibitors from 38 countries and regions. Adding glamour to the show are 16 group pavilions, including for the first time Dubai and the Japan Jewellery Designers Association.

Hong Kong is a powerhouse in the global jewellery industry and show visitors will be exposed to the latest creative designs and outstanding products.

The Hong Kong jewellery industry is in sparkling form, with exports registering double-digit growth in both 2002 and 2003. The industry's sterling run has continued into 2004 with a stunning 19% growth.

Sparkling outlook for gemstone exports

Local jewellery exports and domestic sales are expected to grow in 2005, thanks to Hong Kong's reputation for style, quality and craftsmanship, as well as strong interest from Mainland consumers.

This was the message from Trade Development Council member Christopher Cheng today opening the 22nd International Jewellery Show. He said Hong Kong is particularly strong in producing fashionable pieces set with small gemstones.

"We are on par with the best in Europe when it comes to design capabilities and gem-setting skills," he said.

Strong growth

Domestic sales have seen robust growth fuelled by surging Mainland tourists after the relaxation of visa requirements. Being the world's third largest exporter of precious jewellery, after Italy and the US, Hong Kong's total jewellery exports surged 19% to US$2.58 billion last year. In particular, exports to the largest market the US rose 10% to US$1.3 billion.


A visitor tries a pair of earrings at the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show March 1, 2005. A record number of 1,546 exhibitors from 40 countries and regions took part in this year's show, which has become one of the most established fairs of its kind in Asia. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Council Jewellery Advisory Committee chairman Charles Chan said this year's show has been expanded to meet exhibitor and buyer demand. The four-day fair at the Convention & Exhibition Centre has attracted a record 1,546 exhibitors from 40 countries and regions, including group pavilions from the US, Italy, Belgium, Dubai, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the Mainland, Taiwan, Thailand, India and Israel.

Hong Kong International Jewellery Show : http://www.hkjewellery.com/

The council has organised more than 50 buying missions or 1,381 major buyers from around the world, and also introduced new features, including Les Salons Prives, to allow buyers and exhibitors a discrete venue for business.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 08:48 AM   #13
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18 Feb 2005

HKCEC voted as "Asia's Leading Conference Centre" for the 3rd consecutive year at the 11th World Travel Awards

(18 February 2005, Hong Kong) Shown through the valuable support of the travel industry professionals and clients, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) has been voted as the "Asia's Leading Conference Centre" for the 3rd consecutive year at the 11th World Travel Awards. The awards gala ceremony was held on 11 December 2004 in Barbados.

Conceived in 1993, the World Travel Awards have been described as the 'Oscars' of the World Tourism and Travel Industry. Winning one of their travel categories is a significant achievement as nominees are determined by votes received from over 150,000 frontline agents and 80,000 travel agencies worldwide (totalling to over 2.5 million voting forms), with the final awards based on assessment according to the most stringent international standards.

Mr Cliff Wallace, Managing Director of the HKCEC's management company, is most pleased with the good news. I am extremely delighted that HKCEC is again being named 'Asia's Leading Conference Centre' at the prestigious World Travel Awards - for the 3rd consecutive year. This honour is not only a true reflection of our extraordinary efforts, professionalism and strong commitment to service excellence, but also a great encouragement for us to keep moving forward in delivering value and quality to our customers. With a track record of experience and proven success for over 16 years, our management and staff will continue to work at our best to enhance Hong Kong's position as a significant convention hub that is unmatched in the Asia-Pacific region."

In 2005, HKCEC is welcoming two significant international conferences which will surely catch the world's attention. The first one is the Lions Clubs International Convention (27 June - 1 July) which is set to be Hong Kong's biggest single convention to date, with around 22,000 Lions Club members and their families gathering from more than 100 countries to meet, network and enjoy in Hong Kong. Another one is the 6th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) (13 - 18 December). Being the WTO's highest-level decision-making body, this high caliber conference will attract some 10,000 delegates including many top world leaders and government ministers. These two prestigious events will mark a milestone in strengthening HKCEC's already established position as a world-class venue hosting the greatest events of the world.

The award-winning HKCEC, which opened in 1988 and was expanded in 1997, is a premier international venue for hosting world-leading trade exhibitions and conferences. In the financial year 2003-04 (1 July - 30 June), a total of 1,890 events were held including 125 exhibitions, of which 83 were recurrent and 35 were brand new, 57 international conferences, 148 entertainment events, 431 banquets, and 1,129 other events. The HKCEC is managed and operated by Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Ltd, a member of NWS Holdings Limited (Stock code: 0659.HK).
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Old March 8th, 2005, 02:55 AM   #14
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Interpol conference a first for Hong Kong
Dennis Chong, Hong Kong Standard
March 8, 2005

Hong Kong is the site next week for the first international police conference to be organized by Interpol outside France.

The 15th Interpol Symposium for Heads of Police Training starts on Tuesday and runs for three days.

About 170 delegates from 55 countries will attend, including law enforcement officials, government rep-resentatives and criminologists.

Delegates will also visit training facilities of the Hong Kong police force.

Assistant Commissioner David Thomas, who is the chairman of the symposium's organizing committee, said on Monday that Hong Kong's hosting of this year's event was made possible by a successful chairmanship of a similar symposium in 2002.

The main subjects to be discussed will be technology crimes, narcotics, organized crime and fraud, with local police sharing their experiences in tackling drugs and triad activities in Hong Kong.

The city's geographical location and its position as an international finance center made it appropriate to share its opinions on these matters, Thomas said.

Bernie So, senior superintendent and a project manager for the symposium, said more than 100 local police will attend discussions with foreign frontline officers.

"This will be a good opportunity to broaden their horizons," he said.

So said counter-terrorism policies and crime reduction will also be covered in the meetings, but added that police training remains the top priority.

The event will be kicked off by a speech by Ronald Noble, secretary-general of Interpol, followed by a speech by Hong Kong Police Commissioner Dick Lee.

Sun Jianguo, the mainland's Ministry of Public Security Deputy Director General, is also expected to give a presentation on police professionalism.

Sun will meet Lee informally during his visit to Hong Kong, So said.

The event will cost about HK$1 million to host, Thomas said.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 07:22 AM   #15
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Interpol Symposium for Heads of Police Training Opens
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Government Press Release

The 15th Interpol Symposium for Heads of Police Training, co-hosted by Interpol and the Hong Kong Police Force, opened in the Police Headquarters in Wan Chai today (March 15).

"The constantly changing threats and challenges confronting law enforcement agencies require us to constantly reassess not only our response, but also our preparation", said Interpol Secretary General, Mr Ronald K. Noble, who officiated at the opening ceremony.

"The importance of training is fundamental to sound preparation, and Interpol is confident that the Symposium organised by the Hong Kong Police will provide those attending with effective strategies for the continuing enhancement of police skills and development," he said.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Lee Ming-kwai, said that success against cross-border crime depended to a very large extent on the seamless cooperation between countries. Collaboration in training and the sharing of training resources would equip police officers across nations to tackle transnational crimes.

"In Hong Kong, we have taken the first step. In 2003, we signed a memorandum of understanding with our Singaporean counterparts in the sharing of our e-learning programmes.

Our Police College is able and willing to offer crime courses of specific regional interest as well as development courses at various levels to interested law enforcement agencies," he said.

The Symposium's vision statement "Building an International Learning Community," is a reflection of what the international police training community aims to achieve.

"I hope that through the Symposium we will build strong networks, better partnerships and collaboration in training. And ultimately, achieve what we can call an international police learning organisation," Mr Lee said.

Some 170 delegates from 55 countries including world police training leaders and prominent police scholars have come to Hong Kong to attend the three-day event from March 15 to 17.

The Symposium features five themes-(1) Training Solutions to Global and Organised Crime, (2) The Role of Training in Crime Prevention and Crime Reduction, (3) Professionalisation of Police Training, (4) Towards Technology-led Training Strategies and (5) Developing Effective Modern Police Managers.

Keynote speakers include the Deputy Director-General of Personnel & Training from the Mainland, President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, Chief Commissioner from France, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police from Botswana Police Service, Programme Manager for the Initial Police Learning and Development Programme, from the Home Office of the United Kingdom,and Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime), Hong Kong Police Force.

The 3rd Learning and Development Exhibition is being staged in the Police Headquarters alongside the Symposium to provide training information for Force members as well as to showcase to Symposium delegates police learning and development initiatives in Hong Kong.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 06:03 AM   #16
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The Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair in September.



The Hong Kong Optical Fair in November.



The electronicAsia exhibition at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in October.



The Hong Kong Electronics Fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in October.



The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre celebrated its 15th anniversary in November, and has been the venue for around 30 000 events with the total attendance exceeding 40 million people. The events in 2003 included the combined Hong Kong Houseware Fair and Hong Kong Gifts and Premium Fair held in July. (Graham Uden — courtesy of Hong Kong Trade Development Council)



The combined Hong Kong Houseware Fair and Hong Kong Gifts and Premium Fair was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in July.



The Hong Kong Book Fair was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in July.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 08:51 AM   #17
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Tuesday March 29, 4:57 PM
Report: Hong Kong police to deploy 9,200 officers for WTO meeting

AP - Hong Kong's police force will deploy about 9,200 officers to maintain order when the World Trade Organization meets in the territory in December, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

WTO meetings are magnets for anti-globalization protesters who say the global economic system unfairly benefits rich nations at the expense of poor ones.

Some protests have turned violent, and local police have stepped up their preparation for the Hong Kong meeting in December, ordering non-lethal ammunition such as rubber bullets.

Police officials will deploy a third of its 27,754 officers to guard against protests that are disruptive, the Apple Daily newspaper reported.

The report said officers will also receive special anti-riot training. Also, all officers will be banned from taking vacation starting from November until the end of the WTO conference, which is scheduled for Dec. 13-18, Apple Daily reported.

Hong Kong's police department declined comment on the report, saying only that it is "planning for every possible scenario after drawing on the experience in other parts of the world where similar events have been held."

Hong Kong activists have expressed fears that local police, accustomed to mainly small and peaceful protests, may use excessive force against anti-WTO demonstrators.

Police said in a statement that officers will "facilitate all lawful and peaceful demonstrations," but take "resolute action" if public order is threatened.

WTO member nations aim to lay the groundwork for a treaty liberalizing global trade at the Hong Kong meeting.
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Old April 7th, 2005, 05:54 AM   #18
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Stage set for show time
Large numbers of overseas visitors are expected to be drawn to fairs that will put Hong Kong in the spotlight
22 January 2005
South China Morning Post

IT HAS OFTEN been said that trade is the basic reason for Hong Kong's existence and prosperity. Nothing seems to exemplify that more vividly than the ceaseless activity in the halls and meeting rooms of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), which are once again overflowing with business visitors and potential buyers from around the world.

"Last year, we bounced back from Sars and saw an increase in the numbers of international visitors and exhibitors," said HKCEC deputy managing director Joanne Davis.

"As a platform for trade, we expect another good year in 2005, and with five or six new events and more inquiries from international organisations, we are confident Hong Kong's reputation is back."

The year ahead is full of major shows, including events for toys, jewellery, fashion, electronics and watches.

Significantly, the latest projections show that about 50 per cent of the exhibitors will be from overseas.

"Hong Kong has the strongest exhibition portfolio in the region, but we are constantly planning improvements and quality enhancement in all areas," Ms Davis said.

"This is very much a people business, and for those who enjoy getting things done. It gives young people wide exposure and develops their communication, selling and technical skills."

The HKCEC has about 800 permanent employees to handle an average five events a day. It indirectly hires thousands more because it brings in contractors and temporary workers to set up, man and provide catering for events throughout the year.

The impact of all this on the local economy was highlighted by Stanley Chu, chairman of the Hong Kong Exhibitions and Conventions Industry Association, who believes the second phase of the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement and China's accession to the World Trade Organisation will give the sector a further boost.

"These measures will encourage trade and lead to more international buyers coming here to source Chinese products," he said. "Mainland manufacturers of consumer products and essentials already see Hong Kong as the place to exhibit their goods. But we want to branch out to include industrial and heavy machinery trade fairs as well."

The opening of a new facility close to Chek Lap Kok airport in December this year will make that possible.

Allen Ha, deputy chief executive officer of AsiaWorld-Expo, confirmed that the project was being kept to schedule. With a total exhibition space of close to 70,000 square metres, the venue will double local capacity. It has been designed for easy access and the accommodation of light and heavy machinery exhibits.

"In terms of design it is quite flexible, and in terms of marketing and product positioning we are going after international events," Mr Ha said.

"The key difference for us as a venue in Asia is our connectivity for business visitors. We are taking the free market approach, and we firmly believe in bringing people to Hong Kong to visit and trade."

Some shows have been lined up already, and Mr Ha is looking forward to the 2006 ITU Telecom World event. This is the first time the show is being held outside Europe, and it is expected to be the biggest exhibition in Hong Kong ever.

AsiaWorld-Expo will be recruiting people with experience in facilities management and operational planning, as well as hospitality and catering staff.

Essential qualities, besides practical experience, are creativity and the ability to work in a team.

"The core management and operations teams are being put in place first," Mr Ha explained, "and there are opportunities for experienced professionals to join. Others will be recruited in the second and third quarters, with more frontline staff after that."
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 07:55 PM   #19
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PLA faces summit call-up
Matthew Lee, Hong Kong Standard
May 4, 2005


A pro-Beijing legislator has recommended the government ask the People's Liberation Army to be on stand-by in case it is needed in December to defend the World Trade Organization conference from terrorist attack. CHAN TIT-KONG

The People's Liberation Army may be asked to provide aerial defense for Hong Kong during the sixth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization to be held in December.

The meeting, to be held from December 13 to 18 in Wan Chai's Convention and Exhibition Center, is expected to attract protesters from around the world.

At a Legco security panel meeting Tuesday, democrat legislator Albert Ho said he doubts whether the police force will ask the Hong Kong garrison of the People's Liberation Army for assistance in the event that terrorists attempt to launch an aerial attack on the conference.

Pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong legislator Choy So-yuk suggested the government ask the PLA to be on stand-by in case they are needed to defend the conference against terrorist attack.

The government did not reject the suggestion.

Police Tactical Unit commandant Bill Suen said during the event there will be an air curfew in Hong Kong air space and the special duties unit, better known as the "flying tiger unit," will be on hand to deal with extreme situations.

"But the flying tiger unit can't really fly," pointed out democrat legislator Cheung Man-kwong.

Suen said the Security Bureau will decide whether assistance from the PLA is required.

Anticipating at least 5,000 protesters for the meeting, he revealed that police manpower arrangements have been stepped up in case things get out of hand.

"The protest organizer, the Hong Kong People's Alliance on WTO, has contacted us and said there will be at least 130 groups attending, representing about 5,000 people protesting during the meeting," Suen said.

The government has anticipated 11,000 people will arrive for the bi-annual event, including delegates, members of the press and non-governmental organizations.

Suen said all officers and staff of the 28,000-member police force have been asked not to take leave and some will work 12-hour shifts starting in November.

"We cannot guarantee that there will not be violent behavior. Learning from the experience of similar meetings held in the past, we are preparing for the worst situation."

But he did not elaborate on what is considered the "worst situation," he only said different levels of security arrangements will be implemented according to different situations.

"We have set up nine working groups to look into various aspects for the meeting," Suen said. "Hong Kong enjoys a great degree of freedom, but we must strike a balance between the freedom of demonstration and public safety. We will definitely not allow or tolerate violent protests."

Veteran protester and independent legislator Leung Kwok-hung warned the government to be ready for violent behavior if it fails to arrange protest zones within a visible distance from the venue.

"Protesters want to be seen by the people they are protesting against. Also, the police force should avoid smearing protesters for being violent in nature without true evidence, like they did in the past," Leung said.

Barrister and independent legislator Margaret Ng, who recently protested against the government for seeking Beijing's interpretation of the Basic Law on the term of the next chief executive, agreed with Leung.

"In the past, police have told other protesters, dismayed at having to protest far from the venue, that it should be enough for the media to broadcast their activities.

"Will the police still use this tactic for the WTO meeting?" asked Ng.

Conference coordination office head of the Trade and Industry Department Janet Wong said the government understands protesters want to be seen, but stressed the safety of delegates must not be jeopardized.

"We will try to balance the needs of all parties. We will explain the arrangement after studying the actual situation when the details are hammered out," Wong said.

She said the scope of the security arrangements has yet to be decided.

"We will encourage schools to take a day off December 13, to avoid chaos," she said.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 03:47 AM   #20
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Police consider WTO no-fly zone
Benjamin Wong
4 May 2005
South China Morning Post

A no-fly zone may be established above Wan Chai to protect delegates from terrorist attacks during the World Trade Organisation ministerial conference in December.

The no-fly zone is one of the many security arrangements police are considering as they prepare for the six-day conference, which will be held at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Police Tactical Unit commandant Bill Suen Kwai-leung, who is in charge of security arrangements for the conference, yesterday said the no-fly zone could be established if intelligence indicated a terrorist threat from the air.

Current assessments indicated a low risk of a terror attack during the conference, Mr Suen said. He told lawmakers at a Legislative Council panel meeting that anti-terrorist exercises were being held and all police leave would be cancelled during the conference.

Even though the terror threat was low, assessments indicated a high risk that public order would be disrupted by rigorous or even violent protests. Mr Suen told lawmakers police were preparing for the worst and arrangements would be made to handle drastic acts such as arson and assault of police officers.

"The police will not tolerate any violent protests," he said.

The Hong Kong People's Alliance on WTO had told police that at least 5,000 protesters - and perhaps as many as 20,000 - from local and overseas groups would take part in the protests, he said.

The government's co-ordination office for the conference is set to discuss security precautions with businesses and building-management companies near the exhibition centre.

Legislators expressed concern about Hong Kong's ability to cope with violent protests. Lawmaker Choy So-yuk, of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong, suggested an appeal to the PLA for help.

"Even if we don't formally ask them to help, can they be on standby," she asked.

Police warned that even if the protests were peaceful, the public would inevitably be affected by the special arrangements concerning traffic, crowd control and security.

The December 13 conference opening, which is expected to attract most of the 11,000 conference participants as well as the protesters, has been tentatively planned for the afternoon to minimise the impact on traffic and the public.

It has been suggested that schools on Hong Kong Island take a holiday that day.
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