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Old November 4th, 2009, 04:13 PM   #61
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LCQ2: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Phase 3 development
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Tanya Chan and an oral reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, in the Legislative Council today (November 4):

Question:

Regarding the Phase 3 development plan (the development plan) of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), will the Government inform this Council:

(a) given that the former Secretary for Trade and Industry had indicated at the Council meeting on January 5, 2000 that the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) had sought legal advice on the management contract signed with Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited, and the advice was that if TDC granted the management right of any extension of HKCEC to another company while the contract was in force, it might face legal challenge, whether the relevant provision of the contract is applicable to the proposed Phase 3 extension, and whether the Government cannot award the management contract for that part through open tender because of that provision; if it is not applicable, of the reasons for that;

(b) whether the Government has made an undertaking to a private exhibition organiser and a convention and exhibition facility operator respectively that before the completion of AsiaWorld-Expo's Phase 2 project, it will not implement other plans to expand convention and exhibition facilities; if it has made such an undertaking, of the details, the legal risks or other impact of the undertaking on the development plan and the follow-up actions to be taken by the Government, as well as whether it will defer or shelve public consultation on the development plan; if it will not, of the reasons for that; if such an undertaking does not have any impact on the development plan, the reasons for that; and

(c) given that TDC, being the principal body to promote the development of the convention and exhibition industry in Hong Kong, is also the largest market participant in the industry, and that it not only enjoys a substantially higher market share than others in the industry, but also owns HKCEC, whether the Government will still proceed to entrust TDC with the development plan; if it will, of the details; if not, how it will implement the plan; as well as whether it will conduct a review on the functions and roles of TDC in the convention and exhibition industry; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

President,

(a) The provision in the operation agreement between the Trade Development Council (TDC) and the operator of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), the Polytown Company Limited, mentioned by the Hon Tanya Chan in her question should be the "non-competition" clause of the operation agreement. The clause is not binding on the Government since it is a commercial arrangement between TDC and Polytown. I wish to stress that the Government has not yet decided on the development of the HKCEC Phase 3. We will look into the issue of operation rights when considering whether the Phase 3 expansion should proceed. In principle, the Government plan to grant the operation rights through public tender and the current operator of the HKCEC would not be accorded any priority.

(b) The Government has not made the undertaking mentioned in the question to any individual or organisation. In 2003, upon the request of the bidders for the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) project, the Government set out in a document its policy on the HKCEC Development 3 being considered at that time, stating clearly that the Government would take into consideration all relevant factors in making a decision. The Government would consider the question of support for the proposed expansion only if it was satisfied that there would actually be unmet demand taking into account, inter alia, the additional 100,000 square metres exhibition space to be provided by AWE Phase 1 and Phase 2 and the timing of their availability, and that government support was fully justified for the good of the economy. We would also give due regard to the interests of the Government as a shareholder of AWE as well as the private sector's investment. I wish to reiterate that the Government has not yet decided on the development of the HKCEC Phase 3. We are still examining the feasibility of the project and will conduct a public consultation at an appropriate time when there is a concrete proposal.

(c) The statutory function of TDC is to promote Hong Kong's external trade and exports. Organisation of trade fairs is just one of the effective ways for TDC to carry out this function. The TDC has commercially arranged for a professional management company to operate the HKCEC. The management company has absolute discretion over the renting out of HKCEC venues for exhibition or other purposes, and TDC is not involved. Thus, the two parties have roles which are distinct from each other.

On market share, the number of trade fairs solely organised by TDC in 2008 and 2009 are 22 and 26 respectively, accounting for 25% and 29% of the total numbers of trade fairs held in Hong Kong in these two years.

The TDC will continue to provide exhibition service in a professional manner and on the basis of fair competition. We are discussing with TDC on how to enhance co-operation between the HKCEC and AWE so that the convention and exhibition facilities and resources in Hong Kong can be utilised more effectively.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 04:51 PM   #62
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Half of space at exhibition venues used, study finds
3 November 2009
SCMP

The need to press ahead with building the third phase of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre has been questioned by a study, which found the city's present exhibition space was less than half used.

The study, by Chinese University's business administration faculty and consultancy firm BMT Asia-Pacific, compared the amount of space rented out with the total saleable exhibition space offered by the two major venues, the exhibition centre in Wan Chai and AsiaWorld-Expo at Chek Lap Kok airport.

AsiaWorld-Expo offers 70,000 square metres of exhibition space, and the Wan Chai centre last year had about 86,463 square metres of exhibition space and conference facilities - increased by 2,100 square metres when an atrium was converted.

The study found that the overall rate of use of the two centres last year was less than 50 per cent.

Professor Cheung Wai-man, who was in charge of the study, said this was still very low and there was no urgency to push for the third phase.

"I'm not against any expansion," Cheung said. "But industry players, including companies which manage exhibition venues, think we should start thinking about an expansion when the usage of the space hits 70 per cent."

He said the government should look at different ways to develop the industry instead of debating expansion of the Wan Chai centre.

Cheung also urged the government to study the social costs of expansion, such as the impact on air, traffic and noise pollution.

He said Hong Kong's facilities had a lower rate of use than those in Japan and Australia.

But the exhibition centre's owners, the government and the Trade Development Council, are keen to add more space. The council has already submitted a proposal for the third phase.

"The current situation is that there is not enough room to accommodate large trade fairs during peak seasons each year," council spokesman William Cheung Chee-fai said.

Saying that there were usually more trade shows in spring and autumn, Cheung said one could not just look at the overall rate of use for the whole year.

He said there were at least 10 mega trade fairs in 2009-10 for which the demand for space exceeded the 66,000 square metres of designated exhibition area at the centre. The council had to use convention and meeting rooms, and even car park spaces for exhibitions, which could affect its convention business.

"It is important for Hong Kong to provide enough room for future growth of these trade fairs or we may lose some of them," Cheung said.

A spokeswoman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said the government was still studying the report.

Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management), a wholly owned subsidiary of NWS Holdings, said it supported an expansion.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 06:55 PM   #63
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Wan Chai can't cope with future convention centre expansion
19 November 2009
SCMP

The chief executive supports the expansion of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Speaking in July, at the opening of the phase two expansion, he said the government was actively examining a third phase. He said government and public facilities would be moved to make room for this project and that the Trade Development Council had made a very strong case for phase three.

Last month, trucks unloading goods at the exhibition centre caused traffic gridlock stretching back to the Shun Tak Centre in Sheung Wan ("Exhibition deliveries cause traffic gridlock", October 25). And yet three days later the managing director of the exhibition centre talked of the need for further expansion.

In 2004, Designing Hong Kong objected to further expansion on the basis that traffic problems in the area can never be resolved. The Transport Department's submission to the expert panel of the Harbourfront Enhancement Committee confirmed that after completion of the Central-Wan Chai bypass the critical junctions in Wan Chai North will be near capacity and unable to absorb more traffic. Its figures do not count on a third-phase expansion.

It is unsustainable to add ever more activities along Hong Kong Island's northern shore. Hong Kong needs additional convention and exhibition facilities but not in Wan Chai. Last month we convinced the Town Planning Board to amend a zoning in West Kowloon to allow for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) facilities. There is room to expand AsiaWorld-Expo at the airport, or add new facilities in Kai Tak.

Why these are not pursued by the Trade Development Council is revealed in Legislative Council documents. New World Service Holdings has a management contract with the council for the convention centre. A clause states neither the council nor New World shall develop any exhibition facility other than the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

It was signed in 1988 for 40 years and is extended automatically every 10 years thereafter. In 1988, New World got 370,000 square metres of development rights (including the Grand Hyatt and the Renaissance hotels, an office block, apartments and a car park) for free under a 75-year lease in return for building the original 30,000 square metres of the convention centre.

Taxpayers paid for the two expansions - with land and HK$4.8 billion for 40,000 square metres in 1997 and with HK$1.4 billion from the Trade Development Council reserves for another 20,000 square metres in 2009. This tripled the rentable area to now more than 90,000 square metres. New World pays the council a fee of around 8 per cent of sales.

The expansions have guaranteed the council a monopoly in organising trade shows. Imagine what a further expansion of the convention centre will do for the profits of New World and the council. In the meantime, the taxpayers earn themselves a permanent traffic jam.

Paul Zimmerman, founding member, Designing Hong Kong Limited
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Old November 24th, 2009, 06:47 PM   #64
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Convention centre expansion backed
16 November 2009
South China Morning Post

One of the city's four biggest business groups, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, yesterday said it supported the expansion of the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The comment came amid debate over the need to build a third phase of the Wan Chai exhibition centre.

Federation deputy chairman Stanley Lau Chin-ho said Hong Kong lacked venues for trade fairs and the centre was too small.

"Our members sometimes have difficulty booking the venue," he said. "If the government doesn't do anything now, trade fairs will move to the Pearl River Delta or Macau. Hong Kong will lose business to places nearby. We need a bigger venue in order to survive in the exhibition business."

He said buyers around the world preferred the Wan Chai centre to AsiaWorld-Expo at Chek Lap Kok because it was closer to the local companies they needed to visit.

He said exhibitions at centres in Kowloon Bay and Tung Chung had not been popular with buyers.

Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association vice-chairman Johnny Yeung Chi-hung agreed.

"We do not care about whether it is the HKCEC or AsiaWorld-Expo, as long as the exhibition can help boost our business," he said. "All I know is exhibition events hosted at the HKCEC in Wan Chai really help us find many top-quality buyers."

But Professor Cheung Wai-man, from Chinese University's decision science and managerial economics department, expressed reservations about the expansion plan.

"There is a need to develop more venues, but should we only focus on the HKCEC in Wan Chai and is that the only option? I have reservations about this," Cheung said.

He urged the government to plan for the long term and look at more alternatives to boost the exhibition trade, rather than just pushing ahead with expansion of the Wan Chai centre.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 05:41 PM   #65
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Third expansion of convention centre in doubt
Court challenge could scupper plan

4 November 2009
South China Morning Post

Further expansion of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre may involve a breach of contract, as the government stated in a legally binding agreement in 2003 that it would not take such action unless there was a need for more space after AsiaWorld-Expo reached 100,000 square metres, according to industry insiders.

This raises the possibility that a third expansion of the Wan Chai venue will be challenged in court.

"We are not in a position to comment on the particulars of the agreement. We trust and expect that the terms of the agreement will be honoured," a spokesman for IEC Investments, the private-sector consortium behind AsiaWorld-Expo, said.

In both a January 30, 2003 letter from the then Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau to shortlisted bidders for the AsiaWorld-Expo project by the airport and to the winning consortium of the final contract seven months later, the government stated three conditions for backing creation of additional space in Wan Chai.

There needed to be evidence of demand for more exhibition space which had not been met after AsiaWorld-Expo grew to 100,000 square metres. The airport venue currently offers more than 70,000 square metres of space. The government also needed to consider when the AsiaWorld-Expo space became available and whether its support for more space in Wan Chai benefited the economy.

A government spokesman said the policy statement was demanded by bidders for the AsiaWorld-Expo project.

Expanding the Wan Chai venue again would not be the first time the government would have been seen to be breaching its contract. AsiaWorld-Expo had voiced its strong opposition to plans to expand the atrium at the Wan Chai venue but apparently settled after the Trade Development Council said that it would reopen talks on staging some of its shows at the airport venue. The council runs the Convention and Exhibition Centre for the government.

A council spokesman said it was an undisputed fact that there was great demand for downtown exhibition space, which was not met, and that it could take at least a decade to realise plans for future expansion. The overall space utilisation rate at the Wan Chai venue was more than 90 per cent in October, the spokesman said.

The convention and exhibition industry is lucrative because of the spending by event organisers and exhibitors but is a seasonal business that usually peaks during the months of April and October. The 21-year-old Wan Chai venue more than doubled its exhibition space to 64,000 square metres when an extension was built over the water in 1997. Work on a further 20,000 square metres was completed about six months ago. But unlike the first two extensions, a third expansion is more tricky. The need to build in town and possibly affect the location and views of a number of buildings is politically sensitive because different interests are involved.

An AsiaWorld-Expo Management spokesman declined to comment.
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Old November 30th, 2009, 05:54 PM   #66
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11/29



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Old December 1st, 2009, 10:29 AM   #67
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Very nice to see they removed those ugly green panels. It looks really good now
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Old December 1st, 2009, 04:59 PM   #68
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The green panels? You mean the scaffolding?
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Old December 1st, 2009, 05:08 PM   #69
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is this whole wall the scaffolding?



The colours of the facade on your 11/29 photos look substantially different to that wall
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Old December 7th, 2009, 04:51 PM   #70
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LCQ7: Utilisation of exhibition facilities
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Government Press Release

Following is a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, to a question by the Hon Ip Kwok-him at the Legislative Council meeting today (December 2):

Question:

It has been reported that there is a significant difference in the occupancy rates between the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) and the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) and at the meeting of this Council on November 4 this year, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development indicated that the Government had always encouraged and facilitated AWE and HKCEC to adopt the "one show, two locations" approach, i.e., staging an exhibition at the two venues at the same time. Yet, the mega jewellery fair held in September this year, which adopted the "one show, two locations" approach for the first time, was promoted by the trades themselves. Moreover, the trades have also proposed that the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) collaborates with them in jointly promoting the "one show, two locations" approach. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the actual work progress made in encouraging and facilitating AWE and HKCEC to stage major exhibitions using the "one show, two locations" approach, and whether it has drawn up a work schedule;

(b) what specific measures the authorities have put in place to support the proposed collaboration between the trades and TDC in jointly promoting the "one show, two locations" approach and facilitate the collaboration between the trades and TDC; if they have no specific measures, of the reasons for that; and

(c) whether it has assessed if the Phase 3 development plan of HKCEC will aggravate the vacancy problem of AWE, resulting in more public funds being wasted?

Reply:

President,

(a) and (b) To enhance utilisation of the exhibition facilities in Hong Kong, the Government has been encouraging Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) and the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) to collaborate on exhibition projects. Nevertheless, successful implementation of the "one show, two locations" approach requires close co-ordination between exhibition venues and organisers. Hence, an exhibition using this approach will stand a better chance of success if only one organiser is involved. The Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair 2009 held concurrently at HKCEC and AWE last September was a good example.

The staging of an exhibition by an organiser and the approach to be adopted is a commercial decision made on the basis of market needs and it would be inappropriate for the Government to interfere with these decisions. However, we could provide assistance, for example, we could provide support as far as possible in traffic and transportation arrangements to facilitate and encourage exhibition organisers to adopt the "one show, two locations" approach. We have conveyed our views to TDC and have requested it to assist in promoting the organisation of exhibitions using the "one show, two locations" approach. In addition, the Hong Kong Tourism Board will also strengthen publicity for these exhibitions.

(c) The Government has not made any decision on whether the proposed HKCEC Phase 3 expansion project should proceed. The preparatory work is still under way. We will conduct a public consultation at an appropriate time when there is a concrete proposal. When deciding on the matter, we will consider various factors, including public opinions, the overall development of the convention and exhibition industry, market demand (taking into account the additional 100,000 square metres of exhibition space to be provided by AWE Phase 1 and Phase 2 and the timing of their availability) and whether the expansion project will benefit Hong Kong's economy, etc.

As the HKCEC Phase 3 development involves complicated issues which will take time to address, there will be no immediate impacts on AWE. AWE has been in operation for four years only; it has good prospects and possesses plenty of room for further development. The Government, as a shareholder of AWE, will actively encourage and facilitate its utilisation through, for example, exploring how to leverage on its advantages of proximity to the airport and the Mainland market. We will also advise AWE to co-operate with exhibition organisers and TDC to organise exhibitions using the "one show, two locations" approach.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 06:41 PM   #71
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Opinion : Expansion plan is necessary
12 December 2009
SCMP

There has been a heated debate over the possible third-phase expansion of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.

Many cities in Asia have undergone rapid development. There has been a growth of exhibition and convention facilities in Macau and Guangzhou. In Macau, high-class casinos have been built to include hotels and conference halls.

Therefore, Hong Kong is facing stiff competition and it should face up to this challenge.

If the convention centre expansion project goes ahead, it will attract more business worldwide and make us more competitive. This will have a knock-on effect with other businesses in Hong Kong benefiting. Such a strategy is in line with the policy of sustainable development adopted by the government, a policy which can provide a better living environment for present and future generations.

Another point to be made is that Hong Kong has insufficient conference and exhibition venues. The convention centre and AsiaWorld-Expo cannot satisfy the increasing demand for conference space. Because of this, businessmen may switch to cities such as Macau and Guangzhou.

If more exhibition organisers do this, it could become a trend and Hong Kong could be left out in the cold.

Eunice Cheung, Lam Tin
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Old January 19th, 2010, 11:08 AM   #72
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Monopoly row hits exhibition business
The Standard
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council has been accused of monopolizing the city's exhibition market and failing to do its job.

The Concern Group for a Competitive Exhibition Industry in Hong Kong claims the council has a conflict of interest because it organized 45 percent of exhibition space last year.

Three major private companies accounted for 11 to 18 percent, with 21 other firms accounting for less than 10 percent, or one exhibition a year per firm.

A TDC spokesman denied the accusation. "If our market share is 45 percent for the exhibition space, it only proves that there is a demand for TDC exhibitions and that the TDC is welcomed by the industry," he said. "It shouldn't be regarded as a monopoly."

Group spokesman Michael Kwok Wing-chun said the group does not want to affect Hong Kong's competitiveness.

But it believes the private sector should be allowed to take the lead in organizing exhibitions.

"The government should review its policy towards exhibitions. Otherwise, private companies will not choose to develop exhibition business in the city as it's difficult to set up their own business because of the [TDC] monopoly," Kwok said.

The group met 10 legislators yesterday, a week after meeting with Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan to express their concerns.

They say that, in 2000, then-TDC chief executive Michael Sze Cho-cheung said the council would not organize exhibitions in certain industries where exhibitors have made inroads.

But the council failed to keep that promise, the group said.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 08:41 PM   #73
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LCQ4: Development of convention and exhibition industry
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Government Press Release

Following is an oral reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, to a question by the Hon Ronny Tong in the Legislative Council today (May 5):

Question:

At the meeting of the Panel on Commerce and Industry of this Council held on April 20 this year, some members of the convention and exhibition (C&E) industry pointed out that monopoly might exist in the industry at present. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the authorities will consider inviting an independent academic institution to conduct a study, so as to examine if monopoly exists in the C&E market at present; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; whether the authorities will review the policy on the C&E industry according to the existing fair competition policy, including the policy of promoting market competition by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC); if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(b) whether the authorities will consider formulating new policies and measures to enable more market players to participate in the C&E industry; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(c) given that it has been reported that a "non-competition" clause, which is in contravention of the fair competition policy, is included in the existing operation agreement signed between TDC and the company responsible for the management of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, whether the Government will request TDC and the company to revise or remove the "non-competition" clause contained in the agreement; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; how the Government will explain to the public the situation of the C&E industry being monopolised?

Reply:

President,

More than 40 individuals and organisations attended the meeting of the Panel on Commerce and Industry held on April 20, 2010. They expressed a diversity of views, many of which affirmed and supported the Trade Development Council's (TDC) organising exhibitions to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's export trade. At the meeting, I also explained the policy for developing the convention and exhibition industry in Hong Kong and the TDC's functions and role in it. The Government has been striving to enhance Hong Kong's advantages and appeal as an international MICE (meetings, incentive travels, conventions and exhibitions) capital. We will continue to attract major international MICE events to Hong Kong. Our reply to the question raised is as follows:

(a) We should not use only market shares to determine whether there are monopolies in the market. We need to consider other factors and assess the overall market conditions. The other factors include whether there are market entry barriers; whether there is fair competition in the market; and whether there are abuses of market positions and obstructions to free trade, which have impaired economic efficiency to the detriment of the overall interest of Hong Kong. As far as market share is concerned, the numbers of trade shows solely organised by TDC in 2008 and 2009 are 22 and 26 respectively, representing 25% and 29% of the total numbers of trade shows in the respective years, implying no monopoly by TDC in the market. Considering such market situation, we currently have no plan to conduct any study on the exhibition industry. The Government will continue to monitor the development of the exhibition industry and maintain liaison with the trade.

(b) The market for the convention and exhibition sector in Hong Kong is a free and open market with no barriers. In addition, as a result of the Government's efforts in promoting a business-friendly environment and providing various facilitation and support measures, Hong Kong has a vibrant MICE industry. In the 2008-09 Budget, the Financial Secretary earmarked an additional $150 million for the development of Hong Kong as an international MICE capital. In November 2008, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) also established the Meetings and Exhibitions Hong Kong (MEHK) Office which has specific responsibility for promoting Hong Kong's MICE tourism. Since its establishment, the MEHK has been stepping up its promotion efforts in various target markets in collaboration with the convention and exhibition industry, TDC, the Government's Economic and Trade Offices and the Invest Hong Kong. It has also been providing one-stop professional support services for MICE event organisers. We expect that these measures will help attract more enterprises from outside Hong Kong, professional institutes, association management companies and MICE event organisers etc. to stage MICE events in Hong Kong, and will be conducive to bringing more players to the market.

As a new initiative in 2010-11, the MEHK will develop an online "E-marketplace", which will serve as a one-stop business-building platform to facilitate MICE event organisers and planners to search for suitable venues and products, plan itineraries, request proposals from local suppliers, and learn about the latest offers in Hong Kong.

In addition, the Invest Hong Kong will continue to identify suitable exhibition organisers all over the world and invite them to invest in Hong Kong. It will also provide them with information and support services as appropriate.

(c) The "non-competition" clause in the operation agreement signed between TDC and the operator of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) (i.e. Polytown Company Limited) seeks to protect the interests of both parties by restricting either party's participation in the development of new exhibition facilities in Hong Kong during the term of the contract. The clause does not prohibit TDC from organising exhibitions at venues other than HKCEC.

In fact, TDC has organised more than 20 exhibitions at the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) since the establishment of the latter. In 2010, TDC will continue to stage four exhibitions at AWE, namely the Hong Kong International Printing and Packaging Fair, the Sports Source Asia, the ECO Expo Asia and the Hong Kong International Building and Decoration Materials and Hardware Fair.

The "non-competition" clause is part of the operation agreement signed between TDC and Polytown, a binding commercial contract. The Government does not intend to and will not ask them to delete or alter the relevant clause.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 09:33 PM   #74
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Asian cities put up welcome signs for big-spending business meetings
Region’s strong recovery brings a rush to build space for gatherings

4 May 2010
International Herald Tribune

Two years ago, the Industrial Fabrics Association International, a trade group based in Minnesota and founded in 1912, decided to organize its first dedicated trade exposition for its members in Asia. It evaluated several locations before settling on the new Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

An Asian show was needed to serve the region’s rapidly growing specialty fabrics industry, said the group’s president and chief executive, Stephen M. Warner. About 2,000 delegates are expected to attend the four-day exposition next March.

The Sands, constructed for $5.5 billion and opened last week, offered not only plenty of exhibition space, but also hotel rooms, restaurants, high-end shopping, a casino and, by the time the exposition takes place, the Disney musical ‘‘The Lion King.’’

The past few years have been challenging for conference organizers, with the economic downturn, health concerns about outbreaks like the H1N1 flu virus and public backlash against anything that looks like a lavish business event.

Singapore saw a downturn of 10 percent to 15 percent in attendance at business events in 2009, according to local event organizers. But with Asian economies powering ahead now and many companies relaxing restrictions on travel, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries are stepping up marketing campaigns to attract conventions, trade shows and other big-tent events.

‘‘Asia has had the fastest recovery of that kind of business, and that’s why you’re seeing a plethora of countries in Asia that are spending a lot of marketing dollars and facility construction dollars to build centers for this kind of business,’’ said Michael Leven, president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands. The company’s Marina Bay Sands and Venetian Macao both have large convention and meeting spaces.

‘‘Everybody wants the businessmen,’’ he said. ‘‘They’re really not individual tourists but groups traveling around, and they are great economic generators for these countries.’’

International business travel spending will rise from $929 billion in 2008 to $986 billion in 2013, according to a report last year by the National Business Travel Association in the United States and the business travel company Egencia. This represents a year-to-year growth rate of 1.2 percent. But the compound annual growth rate in major Asian markets like mainland China, India, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia will be 3 percent to 6.5 percent, the report said.

Martin Sirk, chief executive of the International Congress and Convention Association, said governments in Asia had recognized the importance of large-scale meetings and had increased investment in infrastructure like airports and convention centers.

Meeting places in the Asia-Pacific region, he said, are now typically more modern than many established places in Europe.

An expansion of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center was completed last year at a cost of 1.4 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $180 million. In Kyoto, officials recently announced plans to improve the conference center there. And a new convention center is to be built in Phuket, Thailand, by 2012.

In 2008, Singapore attracted three million business travelers. Though they accounted for 30 percent of all visitors, they represented 40 percent of total tourist spending, or about 6 billion Singapore dollars.

Officials want to double receipts from that sector by 2015.

But Singapore will face tough competition. The Hong Kong Tourism Board got a budget of 150 million Hong Kong dollars from the government to increase promotions for meetings and conventions in the next five years. The board has set up an office to provide one-stop professional support to event organizers and enhance overseas promotions.

Last year, the board focused its marketing efforts on areas less affected by the financial crisis, said its executive director, Anthony Lau.

The number of visitors arriving for meetings and conventions in Hong Kong grew from markets not far away like mainland China, Taiwan, South Asia and Southeast Asia. The number of visitors for meetings from all regions slipped just 0.2 percent in 2009, to 1.16 million.

Mr. Leven, of Sands, agreed that attracting business groups required good airports, ground transport and hotel rooms, and also restaurants, entertainment and shopping.

He said the lack of adequate infrastructure, particularly an airport with extensive international connections, was the main reason the meetings business in Macao had not grown as fast as expected.

The city started pursuing such travelers seriously with the 2007 opening of the Venetian Macao, but Mr. Leven said, ‘‘We didn’t have enough hotel rooms to get the big functions. Even if we have 3,000 rooms at the Venetian, we needed more, which is what we’re building now.’’

According to the Macao Government Tourist Office, the number of meeting and event participants in the city rose to 660,881 in 2009 from 364,320 in 2008, while the number of events rose to 1,486 from 1,240.

‘‘Macao will be a big competitor for Hong Kong,’’ Mr. Leven said. ‘‘Five years from now, it will be on an even footing if everybody does what they’re supposed to do — government and private enterprises.’’
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Old October 30th, 2010, 05:24 AM   #75
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Showtime scene shift
26 October 2010
The Standard

The mainland's bid to spur domestic demand will help the SAR's exhibition industry and its enterprises, according to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

``Although economic recovery in the United States and Europe is very slow, this will not have a big impact on Hong Kong exports,'' said deputy executive director Benjamin Chau Kai-leung.

Demand, he forecast, will come from emerging markets, ``especially the mainland, Indonesia and Vietnam.''

Beijing is encouraging the expansion of domestic demand and placing less reliance on exports, Chau added. This will encourage more foreign and local firms to take part in exhibitions in the SAR and the mainland.

Up to 90 percent of buyers who attended the TDC's Electronics Fair last week said they were optimistic that demand from consumers globally will rise in the coming year.

Based on this optimism, the TDC will outlay much less money next year on attracting buyers to Hong Kong.

The council spent HK$80 million in 2009 and more than HK$50 million this year to try to lure first-time buyers to exhibitions in the territory.

``The amount will be further reduced, but will be above HK$10 million,'' Chau said. Most spending will be directed at drawing buyers from emerging markets.

TDC managers are now talking with various parties about more shows in 2011, focusing on lifestyle.

And they plan to take the ``Style Hong Kong Show'' to Beijing, Chengdu, Harbin and Guangzhou next year.
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Old December 25th, 2010, 04:09 PM   #76
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Three-way street converges in trade fairs and exhibitions
12 November 2010
The Australian

AS part of its long history as a global financial hub, Hong Kong has traditionally played the role of a commercial entrepot, a trader between China and the rest of the world.

This role can be seen today in its lucrative trade fair and exhibition industry.

Every year Hong Kong brings together buyers and sellers from a myriad businesses, including fashion, lighting, bridal wear and electronics at its 320 fairs.

The industry is an important one for Hong Kong, attracting 1.1 million visitors each year and contributing $US3.87 billion to the purse in 2008. Perhaps more importantly, it also underscores an economic identity for the special administrative region.

``We want to make sure overseas companies keep using Hong Kong as a platform for trading with China,'' says Bonnie Shek, director of the Australia-New Zealand Hong Kong Development Council.

``It is difficult for some Australian companies to initially understand why they have to go through Hong Kong to deal with China; but one of the main reasons is Hong Kong has the same common law legal system as Australia, so if something were to go wrong with a contract the final court of appeal is in Hong Kong, not in Beijing,'' she said.

The Hong Kong tax system is another incentive and the corporate tax rate in Hong Kong is deliberately kept low at 16.5 per cent and considered less complicated for foreign businesses than in China, Shek says.

The gateway metaphor works both ways and many Chinese manufacturing companies use the Hong Kong trade fairs as a place to meet buyers. In 2008 more than 180,000 Chinese visitors attended Hong Kong trade fairs.

``These days it's easier for Chinese business-people to get a visa to visit Hong Kong than for them to travel overseas, so it's a much easier place for them to meet potential business partners,'' Shek said.

This tri-party model works well for Australian companies doing business in Asia.

``In the ICT and electronics industry we often see an Australian company bringing the technology to a Hong Kong partner, who is very good at commercialisation and customisation and they then help to sell the product to the Chinese market,'' Shek says.

The meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions industry is responsible for creating 61,000 full-time jobs, in areas such as transport, hotels, food and beverage, the freight industry, advertising, stand construction and business-matching services for buyers and sellers.

While fairs such as the Hong Kong electronics fair and the watch and clock fair are the largest in the world, many others, including the toys and games, fashion and housewares fairs, are the largest in Asia. Despite these claims to fame, there is a focus on delivering quality not quantity.

``We always look for where there is a need in the marketplace; we won't grow the industry just to claim to be Asia's trade fair capital,'' Shek says. ``In the past three years we noticed a new emphasis on environmental protection so we have a new international environmental protection fair every year in October.''

As part of continuing this level of quality, the infrastructure to support the trade fairs is carefully set up with special deals for businesses with hotels and transport and two large convention centres -- the Hong Kong Convention Centre and the Asian World Expo -- as well as more than 40 smaller fair venues.

``Because our fairs are so big, we offer business-matching services to companies and ask them to tell us what they are looking for in advance, so we can locate those suppliers (and) give them a map of where they are within the exhibition hall to help them plan ahead,'' Shek said.

Companies are also invited to use the trade fairs as a mini-marketing platform to launch new products.

While the fairs are typically open only to trade customers, a few open their doors to the public on the last day to help build brand awareness. ``This can make a big difference with a product like wine, as it introduces more consumers to your brand,'' she says.

Many of the fairs from similar industries are run concurrently to increase business for vendors. The toys and games fair in January runs alongside the baby industry and stationery fair.

And the food expo matches nicely with the tea fair.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 03:49 AM   #77
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Action urged over center expansion
The Standard
Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre wants the government to finalize expansion plans so it can tap into a growing demand for such facilities.

Deputy managing director Monica Lee-Muller said business is being lost to neighboring rivals in the mainland and other Asian cities because of inadequate space.

Lee-Muller said the center needs to attract more exhibitors to enhance growth.

"The government should finalize its plan to expand the center as early as possible so as to lure more overseas exhibitors to Hong Kong and consolidate the territory's exhibition industry," she told reporters yesterday.

"Currently, we have fully utilized the center's areas, including car parks and banquet venues, to host exhibitions."

Eddy Li Sau-hung, president of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Association, said expansion of the center may help create more business opportunities for local small and medium-sized enterprises as they will have larger spaces available to showcase their products to overseas buyers.

Li said it will also help lure more tourists to Hong Kong by offering different kinds of exhibitions.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 05:22 AM   #78
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LCQ20: Promoting development of convention and exhibition industries in Hong Kong
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Government Press Release

Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, to a question by the Hon Paul Tse in the Legislative Council today (May 2):

Question:

Recently, a financial television programme which analysed the development of the tourism, exhibition and convention industries has reported that in Singapore and Shanghai, designated departments or tourism authorities are responsible for developing their tourism, exhibition and convention industries in a "through-train" manner (including hardware facilities and complementary policies) and have achieved excellent results. The programme has also pointed out that the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in Wan Chai cannot fully facilitate the development of the convention and exhibition industries due to limitation in space, and that the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) in Tung Chung is all along under-utilised (with an average utilisation rate of about 8 per cent only) because of a lack of ancillary tourism facilities such as transport, hotels, restaurants and attractions. Some members of the trade have relayed that despite the huge expenses incurred by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) on promotion all these years, there is still no concrete planning for the development of the tourism, exhibition and convention industries in Hong Kong, and that their development is slow and promotion is ineffective. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the policies to be adopted by the present Government in the remainder of its current term to promote the development of the convention industry and to raise the utilisation rate of AWE; whether it has assessed if the lack of policy support and ancillary facilities, such as transport, hotels and shops, etc. to tie in with the operation of AWE has caused Hong Kong's convention industry to lag far behind Singapore;

(b) given that it has been reported that the Chief Executive-elect will split the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau and an "industry, commerce and tourism bureau" will be formed, whether the "industry, commerce and tourism bureau" will handle issues relating to the tourism, exhibition and convention industries in a centralised manner as well as follow the practices adopted by Singapore of providing integrated development for the relevant industries in a "through-train" approach;

(c) whether it knows HKTB's expenditure on promoting the convention and exhibition industries in each of the past three years; whether it knows and whether it has compared the current actual revenues generated from the convention and exhibition industries in Hong Kong and Singapore; whether the Government has assessed if the development of Hong Kong's convention and exhibition industries can compete with that of Singapore after years of substantial spending by HKTB on the promotion of the industries; if the assessment outcome is in the negative, of the reasons for that; the respective numbers of exhibitions, conventions and exhibition-cum-convention activities held at HKCEC and AWE in each of the past three years, as well as the respective numbers of participants; whether it has assessed if factors such as the limited space of the convention and exhibition venues, insufficient transport and ancillary facilities, inadequate policy promotion efforts, as well as poor planning and development, etc. are the reasons for the impeded development of the relevant industries;

(d) whether the Government has assessed if HKCEC and AWE are at present in a competitive relationship; of the policy coordination provided by the Government or whether it will offer incentives to encourage and foster cooperation between them on diverting exhibition and convention activities, so as to optimise the use of the capacities of the two venues; and

(e) whether the Government has assessed if the present situation of HKCEC and AWE being operated by two separate management companies reflects the absence of aligned management, and whether such situation has hindered the cooperation between the two exhibition venues and the production of synergy effect; of the policies to be implemented by the Government to promote the cooperation between the two companies to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong's convention and exhibition industries?

Reply:

President,

The Government has been striving to enhance Hong Kong's advantages and appeal as a capital for international Meetings, Incentive Travels, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE). The Government has not only invested in the construction of Hong Kong's two major convention and exhibition facilities, namely the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) and the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE), but has also established the Meetings and Exhibitions Hong Kong (MEHK) office under the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) in November 2008, to promote Hong Kong as one of the prime destination for MICE events and travel.

Since its establishment, MEHK has supported over 4 000 MICE events staged in Hong Kong. Amongst them, about 1 400 events have been secured through MEHK's lobbying efforts. Large-scale MICE events includes the Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress, SWIFT International Banking Operations Seminar, InfoComm Asia, World Congress of Nephrology, FDI Annual World Dental Congress, Spoon Art Fair Hong Kong 12, IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo, JCI Asia-Pacific Conference, International Trademark Association Annual Meeting, News World Summit etc.

The expenditure on MICE promotion incurred by the MEHK established under HKTB in the past three years is summarised as follows:-

Financial Year Promotional
Budget ($ million)
--------------- -----------------
2009-10 47.4
2010-11 39.2
2011-12 47.4

We do not have any information on the MICE related investment and benefit in Singapore. For Hong Kong, the number of overnight MICE visitors has continued to increase over the past two years. In 2011, there were 1.56 million MICE overnight visitors, an increase of 9.3 per cent over 2010. These MICE visitors are usually high-spending visitors. The per capita spending of overnight MICE visitors in 2011 was $9,187, an increase of 8.4 per cent over 2010 ($8,475) and 25.3 per cent higher than the per capita spending of overall overnight visitors in 2011 ($7,333). Hong Kong was selected as "Asia's Best City for Business Events" by the prominent MICE publication CEI Asia Magazine in 2011 and as "Best Business City in the World" for three consecutive years (i.e. 2009 to 2011) in the readers' poll organised by another business magazine, Business Traveller Asia Pacific. According to the MICE survey conducted by HKTB, nearly 90 per cent of the interviewees considered Hong Kong a major MICE destination in Asia Pacific. The above has reflected the effectiveness of Hong Kong's work on the promotion of MICE tourism.

The number of exhibition, convention and exhibition cum convention staged at HKCEC in the previous three years is as follows:

Exhibition Convention Exhibition cum
Convention
---------- ---------- --------------
2009 109 11 15
[3,836,100] [7,030] [10,274]
2010 110 15 26
[4,608,559] [11,009] [44,088]
2011 117 13 19
[4,604,532] [23,212] [31,913]

Note: Figures in [ ] refer to the total number of participants in that year.

Separately, the number of exhibition, convention and exhibition cum convention staged at AWE in the previous three years is as follows:

Exhibition Convention Exhibition cum
Convention
---------- ----------- ---------------
2009-10 34 27 2
[330,000] [117,800] [2,200]
2010-11 40 37 1
[360,000] [168,700] [1,300]
2011-12 41 50 1
[380,000] [249,500] [500]

Note: Figures in [ ] refer to the total number of participants in that year.

HKCEC and AWE, each having its own advantages, are major convention and exhibition facilities in Hong Kong. Since HKCEC was established much earlier and its location being much more convenient than that of AWE, the venue has all along been enjoying a higher utilisation rate. While the HKCEC has been operating for over 23 years, the AWE has only been established for about six years and still needs more time to build up its customer base and business. The Government will continue to work on improving the utilisation of the existing convention and exhibition facilities, including encouraging the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) and other organisations to stage more exhibitions at AWE and to better utilise the existing convention and exhibition facilities through the adoption of "one show, two venues" or "two shows, two venues" approaches as well as further strengthening the public transportation arrangements for AWE. With the joint efforts of the Government and various parties, AWE has started to gain recognition from the industry and public in recent years, resulting in more MICE events staged in Hong Kong. In fact, the number of major exhibition and convention at AWE experienced double digit growth in both 2009-10 and 2010-11.

HKCEC and AWE, operated by two management companies, provide the market with two different choices of venues. HKCEC, located in the downtown area, has been a popular venue for consumer products related trade fairs in Hong Kong. The column-free, high ceiling design of AWE is suitable for hosting exhibitions involving large exhibits. AWE offers convenient access for exhibitors and visitors from the airport and has superb connections to the Mainland via bus services. Hence, the types of exhibition held at AWE and AWE's clientele are not exactly the same as those of HKCEC. Having said that, there has been cooperation between the two venues from time to time. In 2011, TDC has organised a total of five exhibitions at AWE, including the Hong Kong International Printing and Packaging Fair, Sports Source Asia, Hong Kong International Building and Decoration Materials and Hardware Fair, Eco Expo Asia-International Trade Fair on Environmental Protection and the first Better Living Expo, which was organised together with the Paper Communication Exhibition Services in July last year. During the staging period of these fairs, there were also exhibitions with related topics like the Book Fair, Gift Fair and Lighting Fair staging at HKCEC. TDC has arranged shuttle bus services between AWE and HKCEC, to increase the attraction of these fairs. Apart from this, TDC has cooperated with Global Sources to provide free shuttle bus services between AWE and HKCEC for the buyers during mega exhibitions in April and October since 2010. More than 11 000 people have benefited from this service. The direct connection services were well received by visitors to the fairs.

The Office of the Chief Executive-Elect is making preparation for the establishment of the new Government on July 1, 2012, including the reorganisation of policy bureaux. The relevant arrangements will be announced in due course. Meanwhile, the existing Government policy of promoting Hong Kong as one of the MICE capitals in the world will continue.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 07:08 PM   #79
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會展覓地擴建
2013年01月10日(四)


Brief Synopsis : Expansion of the convention centre has stalled since 2008 as there are concerns over demolishing the nearby sports ground for construction. The government may consider using part of the land where 3 nearby government buildings sit for the expansion once the offices are relocated.



Government Buildings :





Sports ground :



「貪曾」前特首曾蔭權爵士早於○八年施政報告,提出盡快就會展三期擴建重新展開研究及公眾諮詢,但因清拆灣仔運動場的方案遭到部分居民、學校及體育界反對,至今四年多仍未落實計劃,妨礙香港會展業發展。新任特首梁振英曾於競選政綱承諾增建會展場地,據悉新政府正積極研究貿發局提出的新方案,將灣仔三幢政府大樓搬遷後的部分用地,用作興建會展三期,又向興建中的啟德郵輪碼頭「打主意」,在淡季時借用輪候大堂作會展用途,或會在下周三發表的施政報告交代。商務及經濟發展局局長蘇錦樑昨證實正考慮其他選址,但暫未有定案。

位於灣仔海旁的會展新舊翼經常爆滿,影響香港會展業發展及海內外商界推廣業務,貿發局一直要求政府撥款興建會展三期。政府的原方案是將灣仔運動場清拆用作會展擴建,由使用率偏低的香港大球場承接常於灣仔運動場舉行的學界體育項目,再由規劃中的啟德體育城,取代大球場舉辦國際體育盛事的角色,但遭區內居民、港島區學校及體育界反對。
可提供三萬平方米場地

有貿發局理事向本報證實,政府正考慮他們提出另一個擴建方案,利用政府已決定遷出的灣仔三幢政府大樓部分用地興建會展三期,希望至少額外提供三萬平方米展覽場地,連同會展現有的六萬六千平方米,可提供總面積十萬平方米的展覽場地,地皮的其他部分則可繼續按政府計劃,用作興建甲級寫字樓︰「最緊要會展擴建要喺番灣仔,同埋連住依家個會展,至於其他用地點用,包括喺會展場地上方加建寫字樓,呢個我哋對此無太大意見。」
啟德碼頭大堂解燃眉急

由於灣仔三幢政府大樓仍未有確切搬遷時間表,有消息指政府亦正在尋找其他地方作會展用途,以解業界燃眉之急,包括向啟德郵輪碼頭「打主意」,因碼頭大樓兩個輪候大堂採用無柱設計,在淡季無郵輪到訪時可改作會展用途。

多名商界人士力促政府盡快興建會展三期,以保持會議展覽業的競爭力。廠商會會長施榮懷警告,香港會展業正面對廣州、上海等地競爭:「唔加快擴建嘅話,等參展商去咗周邊城市,就好難返番轉頭。」

一向支持梁振英的進口界立法會議員黃定光,昨日在立法會就會展擴建問題提出口頭質詢,多名工商界議員均批評本港會展場地不足,要求盡快落實擴建。立法會議員梁君彥直指若政府繼續議而不決,「十年後中小企乜都無晒」。蘇錦樑承認灣仔會展過去三年因場地不足,共推掉四十四場展覽及八十九場會議舉辦申請,去年全年有四十一天都達到飽和,位處機場的亞洲博覽館,全年亦有八天飽和,都是集中在展覽旺季,當局一直鼓勵貿發局及其他辦展商以「一展兩館」等不同模式舉辦展覽會。他又證實正考慮包括灣仔三幢政府大樓在內的擴建選址,但暫時未有定案。
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Old January 11th, 2013, 09:34 PM   #80
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Trying to expand the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center is starting to look like trouble. I don't think the Immigration and Revenue Twin Tower complex should be torn down just for the expansion.
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I honestly think all development projects must be sustainable and futureproof.

You support the good projects... and oppose the bad.
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